27 March 2020 In Dementia

With an increase in life expectancy, the incidence of chronic degenerative pathologies such as dementia has progressively risen. Cognitive impairment leads to the gradual loss of skills, which results in substantial personal and financial cost at the individual and societal levels. Grapes and wines are rich in healthy compounds, which may help to maintain homeostasis and reduce the risk of several chronic illnesses, including dementia. This review analyzed papers that were systematically searched in PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and CAB-Abstract, using the association between grapes (or their derivatives) and their effects on cognitive functions in humans. Analysis was restricted to epidemiological and randomized-controlled studies. Consumption of grape juice (200-500 mL/day) and/or light-to-moderate wine (one to four glasses/day) was generally associated with improved cognitive performance, while the results for other alcoholic beverages were controversial and inconclusive. Bioactive molecules contained in grapes and wine were also considered, with particular attention paid to resveratrol. Due to the relatively high doses required (150-1000 mg/day) for bioactivity coupled with its low bioavailability, resveratrol is only one of the possible grape-derived compounds that may partly underpin the beneficial effects of grapes on the central nervous system.

24 January 2020 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol has a hormetic physiological behavior that results in either increased or decreased cardiovascular risk depending on the amount consumed, drinking frequency, pattern of consumption, and the outcomes under study or even the type of alcoholic beverage consumed.

However, the vast majority of studies elucidating the role of alcohol in cardiovascular and in the global burden of disease relies on epidemiological studies of associative nature which carry several limitations. This is why the cardiovascular benefits of low-moderate alcohol consumption are being questioned and perhaps might have been overestimated.

Thus, the aim of this review was to critically discuss the current knowledge on the relationship between alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease. Besides new evidence associating low and moderate alcohol consumption with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, several questions remain unanswered related to the concrete amount of safe consumption, the type of alcoholic beverage, and the age-, sex-, and genetic/ethnical-specific differences in alcohol consumption.

26 November 2019 In Diabetes

A growing interest has emerged in the beneficial effects of plant-based diets for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The Mediterranean diet, one of the most widely evaluated dietary patterns in scientific literature, includes in its nutrients two fluid foods: olive oil, as the main source of fats, and a low-to-moderate consumption of wine, mainly red, particularly during meals. Current mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet include a reduction in inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, improvement in lipid profile, insulin sensitivity and endothelial function, as well as antithrombotic properties. Most of these effects are attributable to bioactive ingredients including polyphenols, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Polyphenols are a heterogeneous group of phytochemicals containing phenol rings. The principal classes of red wine polyphenols include flavonols (quercetin and myricetin), flavanols (catechin and epicatechin), anthocyanin and stilbenes (resveratrol). Olive oil has at least 30 phenolic compounds. Among them, the main are simple phenols (tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol), secoroids and lignans. The present narrative review focuses on phenols, part of red wine and virgin olive oil, discussing the evidence of their effects on lipids, blood pressure, atheromatous plaque and glucose metabolism.

26 November 2019 In Cardiovascular System

A growing interest has emerged in the beneficial effects of plant-based diets for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The Mediterranean diet, one of the most widely evaluated dietary patterns in scientific literature, includes in its nutrients two fluid foods: olive oil, as the main source of fats, and a low-to-moderate consumption of wine, mainly red, particularly during meals. Current mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet include a reduction in inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, improvement in lipid profile, insulin sensitivity and endothelial function, as well as antithrombotic properties. Most of these effects are attributable to bioactive ingredients including polyphenols, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Polyphenols are a heterogeneous group of phytochemicals containing phenol rings. The principal classes of red wine polyphenols include flavonols (quercetin and myricetin), flavanols (catechin and epicatechin), anthocyanin and stilbenes (resveratrol). Olive oil has at least 30 phenolic compounds. Among them, the main are simple phenols (tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol), secoroids and lignans. The present narrative review focuses on phenols, part of red wine and virgin olive oil, discussing the evidence of their effects on lipids, blood pressure, atheromatous plaque and glucose metabolism.

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