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.

 

Despite the vast literature describing the biological effects of phenolic compounds, rather scarce data are available on their absorption from diet in humans. The present study focused on the absorption in humans of phenolic acids from white wine, particularly hydroxycinnamic acids and their esters with tartaric acid. The results obtained indicate that, following a single wine drink, hydroxycinnamic acids from white wine are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and circulate in the blood after being largely metabolized to the form of glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. Unmodified tartaric acid esters of hydroxycinnamic acids from wine are present in human plasma at low levels, if any. Wine hydroxycinnamic acids, although present in wine as conjugated forms, are still bioavailable to humans.
Moderate wine consumption has been shown to lower cardiovascular risk. One of the mechanisms could involve the control of postprandial hyperlipaemia, a well-defined risk factor for atherosclerosis, reasonably by reducing the absorption of lipid oxidised species from the meal. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether wine consumption with the meal is able to reduce the postprandial increase in plasma lipid hydroperoxides and cholesterol oxidation products, in human subjects. In two different study sessions, twelve healthy volunteers consumed the same test meal rich in oxidised and oxidisable lipids (a double cheeseburger), with 300 ml of water (control) or with 300 ml of red wine (wine). The postprandial plasma concentration of cholesterol oxidation products was measured by GC-MS.…
In a cross-sectional study, we examined the relation between intake of 3 common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine, and tea) and cognitive performance. 2031 participants (70-74 y, 55% women) recruited from the population-based Hordaland Health Study in Norway underwent cognitive testing. A cognitive test battery included the Kendrick Object Learning Test, Trail Making Test, part A (TMT-A), modified versions of the Digit Symbol Test, Block Design, Mini-Mental State Examination, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test. Poor cognitive performance was defined as a score in the highest decile for the TMT-A and in the lowest decile for all other tests. A self-reported FFQ was used to assess habitual food intake. Participants who consumed chocolate, wine, or tea had significantly better…
We review evidence for and against the 'red wine hypothesis', whereby red wine is more likely to confer cardiovascular benefits than white. As background, there is a strong epidemiological and mechanistic evidence for J-shaped relation between alcohol intake and total mortality. However, epidemiological data favouring a specific benefit of red over white wine are not strong and the 'French paradox' could at least in part be explained by confounding factors. More convincing evidence is that human studies with de-alcoholized red but not white wine show short-term cardiovascular benefits. The specific components of the de-alcoholized wine that are active on cardiovascular endpoints, are the polyphenols found in red wine, especially resveratrol. The effects of resveratrol on isolated tissues or organs are…
Resveratrol, a polyphenol in red wine, has been reported as a calorie restriction mimetic with potential antiaging and antidiabetogenic properties. It is widely consumed as a nutritional supplement, but its mechanism of action remains a mystery. Here, we report that the metabolic effects of resveratrol result from competitive inhibition of cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterases, leading to elevated cAMP levels. The resulting activation of Epac1, a cAMP effector protein, increases intracellular Ca(2+) levels and activates the CamKKbeta-AMPK pathway via phospholipase C and the ryanodine receptor Ca(2+)-release channel. As a consequence, resveratrol increases NAD(+) and the activity of Sirt1. Inhibiting PDE4 with rolipram reproduces all of the metabolic benefits of resveratrol, including prevention of diet-induced obesity and an increase in mitochondrial function, physical stamina,…
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