Phenolic compounds

 

Wine contains phenolic compounds (polyphenols) which give wine its characteristic colour and flavour and are produced by plants in response to fungal infection, ultraviolet light, and various chemical and physical stressors, especially during ripening. They are extracted from the seeds and skins of grapes during fermentation of winemaking, when the juice is in contact with the grape skins and seeds. The amount of polyphenols in red wine is generally greater than white wine because the red juice has longer contact with the grape skins during fermentation enabling more phenolic substances to be extracted into the red juice.

There is evidence that certain polyphenols, such as resveratrol, anthocyanins, flavonols and catechins in wine provide health benefits. Furthermore, rather than polyphenols themselves, their metabolites might be the real key players in cardiovascular and cancer protection. Researchers have shown that these polyphenols in wine act as antioxidants and are five times more potent than the benchmark antioxidant, vitamin E. These antioxidants are believed to reduce the damage caused by the body's free radicals (toxic waste products) which contribute to causing degenerative diseases in the body such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ageing.

The polyphenols may also aid in inhibiting the oxidative transformation of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and thus, preventing the accumulation of this oxidised LDL cholesterol in the artery wall which eventually could block the blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke.

These findings support the overwhelming and still growing body of scientific research indicating that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with lower levels of coronary heart disease as well as with better health and lower mortality, especially when consumed in combination with
a healthy diet.

 

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

The antioxidant properties of wine have been largely related to the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability of phenolic compounds. Polyphenolic compounds are hardly absorbed and quickly transformed into metabolites. Their antioxidant activities just as radical scavenging properties are therefore limited, but it is worth looking to other mechanisms. This study intended to test whether wine consumption affects antioxidant enzyme activity and gene expression. For this purpose, eight subjects drank 300 mL of red wine every day for a week and ate a low phenolic diet (LPD + W) specifically designed to avoid interferences from other polyphenols in the diet. The control period was a week with this diet, and volunteers refrained from drinking wine (LPD). Blood samples were taken…
PURPOSE: Epidemiological studies suggest that a moderate consumption of wine is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and with a reduced mortality for all causes, possibly due to increased antioxidant defences. The present intervention study was undertaken to evaluate the in vivo effects of wine polyphenols on gene expression in humans, along with their supposed antioxidant activity. METHODS: Blood haemorheology and platelet function were also evaluated. In order to avoid interferences from alcohol, we used de-alcoholised wine (DAW) with different polyphenol content. A randomised cross-over trial of high-proanthocyanidin (PA) red DAW (500 mL/die, PA dose = 7 mg/kg b.w.) vs. low-PA rose DAW (500 mL/die, PA dose = 0.45 mg/kg) was conducted in 21 post-menopausal women in Florence,…
Current evidence supports a contribution of polyphenols to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, but their mechanisms of action are not understood. We investigated the impact of red wine polyphenols on postprandial cytotoxic lipid peroxidation products (MDA) levels in humans. In a randomized, crossover study, the effect of red wine polyphenols on postprandial levels of plasma and urine MDA was investigated. Three meals of 250 g turkey cutlets supplemented by water (A); soaked in red wine after heating plus 200 ml of red wine (B); or soaked in red wine prior to heating plus 200 ml of red wine (C) were administered to 10 healthy volunteers. Subject baseline plasma levels of MDA were 50 +/- 20 nM. After a meal of…
Several studies have cited the Mediterranean diet as an example of healthy eating. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has become the reference diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Red wine seems to be an essential component of the diet, since moderate consumption of wine is associated with lower risk and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Evidence is also accumulating that wine helps prevent the development of certain cancers. Of all the many components of wine, resveratrol, which is a natural component specifically present in wine, has been identified as being mainly responsible for these health-promoting properties. Many valuable properties such as cardioprotective and anticarcinogenic activity have been attributed to resveratrol; however, its bioavailability is quite low. The bioactivity of metabolites…
Extensive research within the last decade has revealed that most chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases exhibit dysregulation of multiple cell signaling pathways that have been linked to inflammation. Thus mono-targeted therapies developed for the last two decades for these diseases have proven to be unsafe, ineffective and expensive. Although fruits and vegetables are regarded to have therapeutic potential against chronic illnesses, neither their active component nor the mechanism of action is well understood. Resveratrol (trans-3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene), a component of grapes, berries, peanuts and other traditional medicines, is one such polyphenol that has been shown to mediate its effects through modulation of many different pathways. This stilbene has been shown…
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