26 April 2017 In General Health

PURPOSE: Endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation are key phenomena in the pathobiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their dietary modification might explain the observed reduction in CVD that has been associated with a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish, low in dairy products and with moderate alcohol and red wine consumption. We investigated the associations between the above food groups and endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation in a population-based cohort of Dutch elderly individuals.

METHODS: Diet was measured by food frequency questionnaire (n = 801; women = 399; age 68.5 +/- 7.2 years). Endothelial dysfunction was determined (1) by combining von Willebrand factor, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, endothelial selectin and thrombomodulin, using Z-scores, into a biomarker score and (2) by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), and low-grade inflammation by combining C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, tumour necrosis factor alpha and sICAM-1 into a biomarker score, with smaller FMD and higher scores representing more dysfunction and inflammation, respectively. We used linear regression analyses to adjust associations for sex, age, energy, glucose metabolism, body mass index, smoking, prior CVD, educational level, physical activity and each of the other food groups.

RESULTS: Moderate [beta (95% CI) -0.13 (-0.33; 0.07)] and high [-0.22 (-0.45; -0.003)] alcohol consumption, and red wine [-0.16 (-0.30; -0.01)] consumption, but none of the other food groups, were associated with a lower endothelial dysfunction biomarker score and a greater FMD. The associations for FMD were, however, not statistically significant. Only red wine consumption was associated with a lower low-grade inflammation biomarker score [-0.18 (-0.33; -0.04)].

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol and red wine consumption may favourably influence processes involved in atherothrombosis.

27 October 2016 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Moderate consumption of red wine is associated with less cardiovascular events. We investigated whether red wine consumption counteracts the adverse vascular effects of cigarette smoking.

METHODS: Participants smoked three cigarettes, alone or after drinking a titrated volume of red wine. Clinical chemistry, blood counts, plasma cytokine ELISAs, immuno-magnetic separation of CD14+ monocytes for gene expression analysis, fluorescence-activated cell sorting for microparticles, isolation of circulating mononuclear cells to measure telomerase activity were performed and urine cotinine levels were quantified.

RESULTS: Compared to baseline, leukocytosis (p=0.019), neutrophilia (p<0.001), lymphopenia (p<0.001) and eosinopenia (p=0.008) were observed after only smoking. Endothelial as well as platelet-, monocyte- and leukocyte-derived microparticles (p<0.001 each) were elevated. In monocytes, mRNA expression of interleukin-6 (2.6+/-0.57-fold), tumor necrosis factor alpha (2.2+/-0.62-fold), and interleukin-1b (2.3+/-0.44-fold) were up-regulated as was interleukin-6 (1.2+/-0.12-fold) protein concentration in plasma. Smoking acutely inhibited mononuclear cell telomerase activity. Markers of endothelial damage, inflammation and cellular ageing were completely attenuated by red wine consumption.

CONCLUSION: Cigarette smoke results in acute endothelial damage, vascular as well as systemic inflammation and indicators of cellular ageing processes in otherwise healthy non-smokers. Pre-treatment with red wine was preventive. The findings underscore the magnitude of acute damage exerted by cigarette smoking in "occasional lifestyle smokers" and demonstrate the potential of red wine as a protective strategy to avert markers of vascular injury.

26 November 2015 In General Health

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Inflammation and hemostasis contribute to the etiology of cardiovascular disease. We previously demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption (1-2 drinks/day) may decrease risk for cardiovascular disease because of an improved lipid profile. In addition to these beneficial changes, the alcohol-mediated reduction in risk may be through its effect on inflammation and hemostasis. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on biomarkers of inflammation and hemostasis in postmenopausal women.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: As part of a controlled diet study, 53 postmenopausal women each consumed a weight-maintaining diet plus 0, 15 and 30 g/day of alcohol for 8 weeks, in a randomized crossover design. The controlled diet contained 15%, 53% and 32% of energy from protein, carbohydrate and fat, respectively.

RESULTS: Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 decreased by 5% (P<0.05) with consumption of both 15 and 30 g of alcohol. Fibrinogen concentrations decreased by 4% and 6% (P<0.05) after consumption of 15 and 30 g alcohol, respectively. Fibrin D-dimer decreased by 24% (P<0.05) after consumption of 30 g of alcohol. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) concentrations were increased 27 and 54% (P<0.05) after consumption of 15 and 30 g of alcohol. Plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and factor VII coagulant activity did not change with alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on inflammation and hemostasis in postmenopausal women, and this may be somewhat mitigated by an increase in PAI-1.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 11 November 2015; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2015.182

16 June 2015 In Phenolic compounds

BACKGROUND: Mediterranean-style diet has been considered for its important beneficial effects on the progression of CV disease. Wine is an important component of the Mediterranean diet, and moderate wine drinkers have lower mortality rates than nondrinkers and heavy drinkers in epidemiologic studies. The beneficial effects of red wine are thought to be dependent on the polyphenol compounds such as resveratrol that exhibit potent antioxidant activity. However, white wine, although lacking polyphenols, contains simple phenols, such as tyrosol (Tyr) and hydroxytyrosol (OH-Tyr), characteristic also of extra-virgin olive oil, which may share similar antioxidant and inflammatory properties.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The effect of white wine and extra-virgin olive oil on inflammatory markers was evaluated in 10 healthy volunteers and in 10 patients with CKD (chronic kidney disease) K-DOQI stage III-IV in a prospective, single blind, randomized, cross-over trial. After two weeks of wash-out from alcoholic beverages, subjects were randomized to a cross-over design A-B or B-A of a 2-week treatment with white wine (4 ml/kg body weight, 0.48 g/kg of alcohol 12%, corresponding to 2-3 glasses/daily) and extra-virgin olive oil (treatment A) or extra-virgin olive oil alone (treatment B). The two study periods were separated by a two-week wash-out period. At baseline and at the end of each treatment, plasma levels of inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) concentration were determined. Urinary levels of Tyr, OH-Tyr, and their metabolites were measured at the same time.

RESULTS: During combined consumption of white wine and extra-virgin olive oil (treatment A), plasma levels of CRP and IL-6 decreased from 4.1 +/- 1.8 to 2.4 +/- 1.9 mg/l (p < 0.05) and from 5.3 +/- 3.2 to 3.4 +/- 2.3 mg/l (p < 0.05) in CKD patients. CRP decreased from 2.6 +/- 1.2 to 1.9 +/- 0.9 mg/l (p < 0.05), and IL-6 decreased from 2.2 +/- 1.8 to 1.7 +/- 1.3 mg/l (p = ns) in healthy volunteers. No significant variation versus baseline was observed during treatment B. A significant increase in urinary Tyr and OH-Tyr was observed during treatment A (white wine and extra-virgin olive oil).

CONCLUSIONS: Plasma markers of chronic inflammation were significantly reduced in CKD patients during the combined consumption of white wine and olive oil, suggesting a possible anti-inflammatory effect of this nutritional intervention.

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