Home > History of Wine > The Consideration of the Calories and Alcohol Content of Wine in Treating Tuberculosis and Diabetes

The Consideration of the Calories and Alcohol Content of Wine in Treating Tuberculosis and Diabetes



The two posts published today represent a brief look at the history of the consideration of calories in wine; a placeholder for future research.  They are also an opportunity to publish scientific charts related to wine which I always find interesting.  In my previous post The Calories in Wine as Part of Field Rations During World War I I briefly illustrated how caloric intake due to wine was studied as a part of army rations.  It was also studied with respect to medical conditions including diabetes and tuberculosis.  Frederick Forchheimer felt the high caloric content of alcohol made “it a valuable adjunct in the dietetic treatment.”[2]  In referencing von Noorden he writes, “it compensates the diabetic patient for other deprivations.”  Wine which were lower in carbohydrates thus low in sugar were preferable including Moselle, Rhine, and red wines.  Port, Madeira, and Tokay were expressly forbidden.

Percent Content of Alcohol [3]

Percent Content of Alcohol [3]

Georg Cornet wrote favorably of the use of alcohol as a drug.  He felt the positive effects included stimulating the appetite, hastening gastric digestion, helping the absorption of fats, stimulating the heart and the central nervous system.  Due to the potential for “terrible consequences” he advocated regulating the dose given to the patient.  A small glass of “strong southern wine” was recommended in the forenoon to stimulate the appetite.  This was followed by one or two glasses of light red or white wine both in the afternoon and evening.  It looking through various charts wines such as Port, Madeira, Malaga, and Sherry were often ranked towards the top in terms of alcohol by percent and calories.  However, Greek wines appear to be an exception with the potentially highest calorie value!

Alcoholic Beverages.  [4] Image from Google Books.

Alcoholic Beverages. [4] Image from Google Books.

[1] Forchheimer, Frederick.  The Prophylaxis and Treatment of Internal Disease.  1910.  URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=r7batau0WZ4C&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[2] Forchheimer, Frederick.  Forchheimer’s Therapeusis of Internal Diseases, Volume 2. 1920. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=jZgvAQAAIAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[3] Cornet, Georg. Tuberculosis and Acute General Military Tuberculosis. 1904. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=4gFVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[4] Locke, Edwin Allen.  Food Values.  1920. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=xTtAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

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