Wednesday, May 14, 2014

RED WINE AND THE HEART. DOES THE EFFECTS VARY BETWEEN HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS AND UNHEALTHY INDIVIDUALS. THE InCHIANTI STUDY.


Nice bottle of Chianti 2009


You can also buy Resveratrol pills for this that and the other, including anti-aging and cardiac protection.

We have always been believers of the "French Paradox". It seem to answer the question on why French who consume so much saturated fats, have such a low incidence of heart disease ( well relatively ). Much research were done and there were many studies that seemed to support that. It has surely helped the wine industry ( which is gaining tremendous popularity in the second largest economy in the world ) and also the direct selling industry as all kinds of resveratrol pills are now being marketed for anti aging and cardiac protection. Of course, resveratrol is supposedly the active ingredient in red wine that is also found in grapes ( of course ), some type of berries and roots and also dark chocolates. For those who do not like to drink wine, they buy resveratrol caps and take them daily. Resveratrol is suppose to be anti-inflammatory, and also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose levels.
Well, is it true, that red wine prevents heart disease?
In the May 12th issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Prof  Semba of the John Hopkins University published an article on their research. This was also carried in the BBC News, that is where I first saw it. The study is called the Invecchaire in Chianti study or InCHIANTI study, for short. Prof Semba, studied two communities in the Chianti Region ( wine country )  in Italy. This people love their red wine. There were 783 healthy males and females aged 65 or older. He followed them for 9 years and had regular urine testing for resveratrol metabolites in the urine. He did not rely on food questionnaires. These people at these communities also almost never consume vitamin pills which may interfere with the urine estimations. After 9 years, about 34% of the subjects passed away for a variety of causes, including cancers ( 4% )  and heart disease ( 27% ).. The researchers found no correlation between the urine resveratrol metabolite levels and the levels of inflammatory markers and also cause of death. Those with high urine levels were as likely to get heart disease as those in the lowest levels. How then do we reconcile previous data from the current? Well, it could be that the effects of red wine is more complex then we anticipated and that there are many more variables. For one, many of the previous study heralding the good effects of red wine were done in people with some form of established heart disease, and that this InChianti study were in healthy individuals. Put another way, could it be that red wine is good for secondary prevention and not good for primary prevention? Interesting.
Obviously much more work needs be done, to solve this slight discrepancy.
In the meantime, Cheers, The Chianti Classico is not bad.

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