06 May 2014 In Phenolic compounds

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, Italy. Oxidative DNA damage by the comet assay and gene expression by microarray was measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes, collected during the study period. Blood samples were also collected for the evaluation of haematological, haemostatic, haemorheological, and inflammatory parameters.

RESULTS: The results of the present study provide evidence that consumption of substantial amounts of de-alcoholised wine for 1 month does not exert a protective activity towards oxidative DNA damage, nor modifies significantly the gene expression profile of peripheral lymphocytes, whereas it shows blood-fluidifying actions, expressed as a significant decrease in blood viscosity. However, this effect does not correlate with the dosage of polyphenols of the de-alcoholised wine.

CONCLUSIONS: More intervention studies are needed to provide further evidence of the health-protective effects of wine proanthocyanidins.

06 May 2014 In Phenolic compounds

Epidemiological and experimental studies have revealed that a mild to moderate drinking of wine, particularly red wine, attenuates the cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular risk. However, the experimental basis for such health benefits is not fully understood. The cardioprotective effect of wine has been attributed to both components of wine: the alcoholic portion and, more importantly, the alcohol-free portion containing antioxidants. Wines are manufactured from grapes, which also contain a large variety of antioxidants, including resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidins. Resveratrol is mainly found in the grape skin, whereas proanthocyanidins are found only in the seeds. Recent studies have demonstrated that resveratrol and proanthocyanidin are the major compounds present in grapes and wines responsible for cardioprotection. The purpose of this review is to provide evidence that grapes, wines, and resveratrol are equally important in reducing the risk of morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular complications. Both wines and grapes can attenuate cardiac diseases such as atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease. Recently, wine was also found to increase life span by inducing longevity genes. It appears that resveratrol and proanthocyanidins, especially resveratrol, present in grapes and wines play a crucial role in cardioprotective abilities of grapes and wines.

06 May 2014 In Cancer




Studies of the association between polyphenols dietary intake and breast cancer risk have been limited due to the lack of detailed food composition tables. In addition, none has examined this association according to alcohol intake, despite the facts that alcohol is an established risk factor for breast cancer and that the contribution of alcoholic beverages to polyphenol intake varies according to the level of alcohol consumption. Our objectives were (1) to estimate the associations between breast cancer risk and a wide range of dietary polyphenols using the recently published Phenol-Explorer database; and (2) to evaluate if/how alcohol intake modulates these relationships. 4,141 women from the SU.VI.MAX prospective cohort were followed from 1994 to 2007 (median followup: 12.6 years); 152 developed a first incident invasive primary breast cancer. Dietary intakes were assessed by repeated 24-h records. The Phenol-Explorer database was used to estimate polyphenol intake. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for quartiles of polyphenol intake. Analyses were stratified by median alcohol intake (< vs. >/= 6.5 g/d). In non-to-low alcohol drinkers, intakes of some classes of polyphenols were associated with decreased breast cancer risk: hydroxybenzoic acids (HR(Q4vsQ1) = 0.38, 95 % CI: 0.17-0.86, P (trend) = 0.005), flavonoids (0.35, 0.17-0.75, P (trend) = 0.02), flavonols (0.36, 0.18-0.74, P (trend) = 0.002), catechins (0.48, 0.22-1.05, P (trend) = 0.02), theaflavins (0.42, 0.19-0.93, P (trend) = 0.02), and proanthocyanidins (0.39, 0.18-0.84, P (trend) = 0.02). In contrast, in women with higher alcohol use, intakes of hydroxybenzoic acids (2.28, 1.16-4.49, P (trend) = 0.04), flavonoids (2.46, 1.23-4.92, P (trend) = 0.01), anthocyanins (2.94, 1.32-6.53, P (trend) = 0.01), catechins (2.28, 1.19-4.36, P (trend) = 0.02), and proanthocyanidins (2.98, 1.40-6.33, P (trend) = 0.006) were associated with increased breast cancer risk. In conclusion, this prospective study suggests that several classes of polyphenols could potentially contribute to breast cancer prevention among non-to-low alcohol drinkers, but some may increase breast cancer risk among women with higher alcohol intake.




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