Friday, February 03, 2012


Over the Chniese New Year period, I have been consuming alot of wine, almost at every party, and mostly reds. So I went to look at the literature. In the American Journal of Nutrition Feb vol 95, 2012, there are two studies on Red wine and its cardiovascular effects. One study by Dr Majorie McCullough of Atlanta, dealt with a nutritional study in a US Cancer Prevention Study Cohort of 100,000, using a 152 food item questionaire, and following them up for 7 years. She found that those who consume Red wine in moderation had 18% less CV mortality.
I was however more interested in the second study by Dr Ramon Estruch of the University of Barcelona. This is a smaller study of 67 subjects. He divided them into 3 groups. Gp 1 drank 30 gms of Red Wine daily for 4 weeks. Gp 2 drank dealcoholized red wine, 30 gms for 4 weeks and Gp 3 drank 30 gin which contain alcohol without the flavanoids and polyphenols. After each 4 weeks duration, the groups were crossed meaning that Gp 1 took Gp2, Gp2 took Gp 3 and Gp 3 took Gp 1. And after another 4 weeks, they were crossed again. Meaning that each individual would have taken Red Wine, dealcoholized red wine and gin by rotation. Before and after each group interval, 7 cellular markers and 18 serum markers were measured.
At the end of the whole study, Dr Ramon found that the polyphenols tend to lessen leucocyte adhesion, an important step in atherosclerosis. The alcohol and polyphenols reduces serum inflammatory markers. Both actions help to lessen atherosclerosis. Very interesting. For those who cannot tolerate alcohol, they can get benefit for dealcoholized red wine.
Taking supplements is not the same because, they are almost 1,000 polyphenols in the red wine that cannot be reproduced in the supplements.

Flavonoids are a class of polyphenols. They include the following subclasses:

  • Anthocyanidins—In blueberries, red wine, and strawberries.
  • Flavan-3-ols—In apples, black tea, blueberries, chocolate, and red wine.
  • Flavanones—In citrus fruit and juices and herbal tea.
  • Flavones—In celery, garlic, green peppers, and herbal tea.
  • Flavonols—In blueberries, garlic, kale, onions, spinach, tea, broccoli, red wine, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Proanthocyanidins—In apples, black tea, blueberries, chocolate, mixed nuts, peanuts, red wine, strawberries, and walnuts.
  • Isoflavones—In soy products and peanuts.
  • eating more of these foods that contain flavonoids ( a class of polyphenols is another way ).

Please remember, that we advocate red wine in moderation and also when you drink DO NOT drive and if you are driving, please do not drink. Road traffic accidents kill more and faster.

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