26 June 2020 In Cancer

The health benefits of moderate wine consumption have been extensively studied during the last few decades. Some studies have demonstrated protective associations between moderate drinking and several diseases including oral cavity cancer (OCC). However, due to the various adverse effects related to ethanol content, the recommendation of moderate wine consumption has been controversial.

The polyphenolic components of wine contribute to its beneficial effects with different biological pathways, including antioxidant, lipid regulating and anti-inflammatory effects. On the other hand, in the oral cavity, ethanol is oxidized to form acetaldehyde, a metabolite with genotoxic properties. This review is a critical compilation of both the beneficial and the detrimental effects of wine consumption on OCC.

04 May 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Deficits in the cerebral microcirculation contribute to age-related cognitive decline. In a pilot study of postmenopausal women, we found that supplementation with a low dose of resveratrol, a phytoestrogen, for 14 weeks improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions.

We have since undertaken a larger, longer term study to confirm these benefits. Postmenopausal women aged 45-85 years (n = 129) were randomized to take placebo or 75 mg trans-resveratrol twice daily for 12 months. Effects on cognition, cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular responsiveness (CVR) and cardiometabolic markers (blood pressure, diabetes markers and fasting lipids) were assessed. Compared to placebo, resveratrol improved overall cognitive performance (P < 0.001) and attenuated the decline in CVR to cognitive stimuli (P = 0.038). The latter effect was associated with reduction of fasting blood glucose (r = -0.339, P = 0.023).

This long-term study confirms that regular consumption of resveratrol can enhance cognitive and cerebrovascular functions in postmenopausal women, with the potential to slow cognitive decline due to ageing and menopause.

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 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.

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