Language Lab, Science Faculty, University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis

God's Precious Gift to Man

Please read the following article and answer the questions.

Louis Pasteur said, "Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages," and Plato remarked, "No thing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God." Modern scientific research supports this perception.
Some twenty years ago, in an ecological epidemiology study, it was shown that there was a population-based association between a reduction in deaths from heart disease and increased wine consumption. More recently, two researchers at INSERM in Lyon brought the issue to public attention with a similar study. They used WHO data to show that there is a high correlation between animal fat consumption and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality. A few French cities, however, had very high fat consumption, yet low CHD mortality rates - thus the "French paradox". When they included wine consumption as a factor that affected CHD mortality, the researchers got a better correlation, with wine being a negative correlate. Other researchers at the University of California, San Diego, subsequently investigated comparable data and came to a similar conclusion: wine was one of the few dietary factors that correlated with reduced CHD mortality.
A Danish study indicates drinking wine at nearly twice the generally accepted moderate levels prolongs life and is healthier than beer or hard liquor consumption or abstinence. The first study to compare wine, beer and hard liquor, the Copenhagen Heart Study determined that drinking three to five glasses of wine daily can cut in half the risk of mortality from all causes.
The one-to-two glasses per day suggested as beneficial by other studies is likely to be due firstly to under-reporting of alcohol consumption, and secondly to the better health of wine drinkers, which thus lowers overall risk. Those who consumed one to two glasses daily had a twenty percent decrease in mortality risk. Wine drinking showed the same relation to risk of death from heart disease as to risk of death from all causes. "This study differs from other large-scale studies in that it did not find life-prolonging benefits from drinking other forms of alcohol and did not find health benefits beginning to diminish at above three glasses of wine per day," said E. Holmgren, director of research and education at the Wine Institute.
The findings were reported last week in The British Medical Journal by a research team led by Dr. M. Gronbaek of the Danish Epidemiology Science Center in Copenhagen, funded by the Danish National Board of Health.
The experiment involved 13,285 men and women (30 to 79) that were studied from '76 to '88. The researchers monitored gender, age, education, income, smoking and weight and eliminated former alcoholics from the study. The results strongly suggest that, in addition to the common effect of ethanol, wine possesses other distinct beneficial elements (antioxidants, tannins and other phelonic compounds) which may be responsible for the protective effect against heart disease and some cancers. Lastly, a major U.S. study has determined that the reduced risk of heart attacks among post-menopausal women who drink alcohol moderately may be due to increased estrogen levels. The researchers found that women who drank three to six glasses of wine, beer or standard-size mixed alcoholic drinks a week showed higher estrogen levels according to a study published in the current issue of the Journal of Alcoholism. One researcher said the explanation may lie in alcohol's ability to stimulate the body into changing androgen into estradiol, the same form of estrogen doctors prescribe to women after menopause to control bone loss and prevent heart disease.


1. Wine is a "negative correlate" means (more than one possible answer )
1. it has to be excluded from the factors that affect CHD mortality.
2. it has a positive effect on heart disease.
3. it lowers the risk of heart disease.
4. it increases CHD mortality risks.

2. Which of the underlined passages in the following sentence contains a mistake?

Several mechanisms for the "French Paradox" are now recognised, of which the best known is alcohol's ability to alter blood lipid levels by lowering total cholesterol and rising high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

1. of which
2. known is
3. by lowering
4. rising high

3. Now please correct the mistake that was contained in the sentence above. What should the correct form be?

4. "Under-reporting of alcohol consumption" means (more than one possible answer )
1. studies do not disclose all their reports
2. respondents do not answer truthfully
3. overall alcohol consumption has lowered
4. respondents consume more alcohol than they are willing to admit

5. According to the Danish study, (more than one possible answer )
1. it's better to drink one to two glasses of wine per day
2. it's better to drink less than 3 glasses of wine a day
3. drinking other forms of alcohol doesn't prolong life    
4. drinking more than 3 glasses a day is still good for the health

6. In the last paragraph but one, "funded" means
1. établir
2. trouver
3. fonder
4. financer

7. How many years does the Danish study cover?

8. Which of the following elements you would NOT need to give the researchers conducting the Danish study?
1. Manchester
2. 32 years old
3. married
4. Male
5. 150 lbs
6. PhD English literature
7. 6ft2
8. £30,000 a year
9. non-smoker
10. no history of CHD

9. In post-menopausal women, (more than one possible answer )
1. Moderate drinking helps control bone loss
2. Increased estrogen levels lowers the risks of heart attacks
3. Increases the level of androgen
4. Moderate drinking is prescribed by some doctors to control bone loss and prevent heart disease

9. Please re-order the words in the following exercise so as to make a sentence which sums up the main idea of the text. Click on the link below :

Jumbled sentence exercise

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