24 October 2019 In Cardiovascular System

Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage that has been consumed for hundreds of years. Benefits from moderate alcohol consumption have been widely supported by the scientific literature and, in this line, red wine intake has been related to a lesser risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).

Experimental studies and meta-analyses have mainly attributed this outcome to the presence in red wine of a great variety of polyphenolic compounds such as resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, and anthocyanin. Resveratrol is considered the most effective wine compound with respect to the prevention of CHD because of its antioxidant properties.

The mechanisms responsible for its putative cardioprotective effects would include changes in lipid profiles, reduction of insulin resistance, and decrease in oxidative stress  of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

The aim of this review is to summarize the accumulated evidence correlating moderate red wine consumption with prevention of CHD by focusing on the different mechanisms underlying this relationship. Furthermore, the chemistry of wine as well as chemical factors that influence the composition of the bioactive components of red wine are also discussed.

22 February 2019 In General Health

The determination of appropriate dietary strategies for the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases remains a challenging and highly relevant issue worldwide. Epidemiological dietary interventions have been studied for decades with contrasting impacts on human health. Moreover, research scientists and physicians have long debated diets encouraging alcohol intake, such as the Mediterranean and French-style diets, with regard to their impact on human health. Understanding the effects of these diets may help to improve in the treatment and prevention of diseases. However, further studies are warranted to determine which individual food components, or combinations thereof, have a beneficial impact on different diseases, since a large number of different compounds may occur in a single food, and their fate in vivo is difficult to measure. Most explanations for the positive effects of Mediterranean-style diet, and of the French paradox, have focused largely on the beneficial properties of antioxidants, among other compounds/metabolites, in foods and red wine. Wine is a traditional alcoholic beverage that has been associated with both healthy and harmful effects. Not withstanding some doubts, there is reasonable unanimity among researchers as to the beneficial effects of moderate wine consumption on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and longevity, which have been ascribed to polyphenolic compounds present in wine. Despite this, conflicting findings regarding the impact of alcohol consumption on human health, and contradictory findings concerning the effects of non-alcoholic wine components such as resveratrol, have led to confusion among consumers. In addition to these contradictions and misconceptions, there is a paucity of human research studies confirming known positive effects of polyphenols in vivo. Furthermore, studies balancing both known and unknown prognostic factors have mostly been conducted in vitro or using animal models. Moreover, current studies have shifted focus from red wine to dairy products, such as cheese, to explain the French paradox. The aim of this review is to highlight the contradictions, misconceptions, and scientific facts about wines and diets, giving special focus to the Mediterranean and French diets in disease prevention and human health improvement. To answer the multiplicity of questions regarding the effects of diet and specific diet components on health, and to relieve consumer uncertainty and promote health, comprehensive cross-demographic studies using the latest technologies, which include foodomics and integrated omics approaches, are warranted.

04 December 2014 In Phenolic compounds

While many epidemiological studies have associated the consumption of polyphenols within fruits and vegetables with a decreased risk of developing several chronic diseases, intervention studies have generally not confirmed these beneficial effects. The reasons for this discrepancy are not fully understood but include potential differences in dosing, interaction with the food matrix, and differences in polyphenol bioavailability. In addition to endogenous factors such as microbiota and digestive enzymes, the food matrix can also considerably affect bioaccessibility, uptake, and further metabolism of polyphenols. While dietary fiber (such as hemicellulose), divalent minerals, and viscous and protein-rich meals are likely to cause detrimental effects on polyphenol bioaccessibility, digestible carbohydrates, dietary lipids (especially for hydrophobic polyphenols, e.g., curcumin), and additional antioxidants may enhance polyphenol availability. Following epithelial uptake, polyphenols such as flavonoids may reduce phase II metabolism and excretion, enhancing polyphenol bioavailability. Furthermore, polyphenols may act synergistically due to their influence on efflux transporters such as p-glycoprotein. In order to understand polyphenol bioactivity, increased knowledge of the factors affecting polyphenol bioavailability, including dietary factors, is paramount.

06 May 2014 In Phenolic compounds

Numerous studies indicate that moderate red wine consumption is associated with a protective effect against all-cause mortality. Since oxidative stress constitutes a unifying mechanism of injury of many types of disease processes, it should be expected that polyphenolic antioxidants account for this beneficial effect. Nevertheless, beyond the well-known antioxidant properties of these compounds, they may exert several other protective mechanisms. Indeed, the overall protective effect of polyphenols is due to their large array of biological actions, such as free radical-scavenging, metal chelation, enzyme modulation, cell signalling pathways modulation and gene expression effects, among others. Wine possesses a variety of polyphenols, being resveratrol its most outstanding representative, due to its pleiotropic biological properties. The presence of ethanol in wine aids to polyphenol absorption, thereby contributing to their bioavailability. Before absorption, polyphenols must be hydrolyzed by intestinal enzymes or by colonic microflora. Then, they undergo intestinal and liver metabolism. There have been no reported polyphenol adverse effects derived from intakes currently associated with the normal diet. However, supplements for health-protection should be cautiously used as no level definition has been given to make sure the dose is safe. The role of oxidative stress and the beneficial effects of wine polyphenols against cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, microbial, inflammatory, neurodegenerative and kidney diseases and ageing are reviewed. Future large scale randomized clinical trials should be conducted to fully establish the therapeutic use of each individual wine polyphenol against human disease.

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