Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is red wine good for you?

Do you need an excuse for a glass of red wine?

I have been thinking more about this.Barry Groves has a post up saying that a bottle of red wine is better than a statin for your heart. There seems to be plenty written about the antioxidant effect of red wine. (This is not an excuse to go out and get hammered, but in moderation a glass of wine is good for you.)

The study below seems to support this idea. However, I have been thinking a lot about Emma's post which considered the role of flavonoids. I am still trying to digest Emma's argument but I think she has a point that flavonoids in themselves may not be good for you. There may be an antioxidant effect from ingesting them, but that may be a byproduct of the fact that your body is reacting against them.

The study does indicate that red wine is an antioxidant in effect....but having read Emma's post I am wondering if this is really a good thing.....

Red wine consumption increases antioxidant status and decreases oxidative stress in the circulation of both young and old humans

Abstract (provisional)


Red wine contains a naturally rich source of antioxidants, which may protect the body from oxidative stress, a determinant of age-related disease. The current study set out to determine the in vivo effects of moderate red wine consumption on antioxidant status and oxidative stress in the circulation.

20 young (18-30 yrs) and 20 older (greater than or equal to 50 yrs) volunteers were recruited. Each age group was randomly divided into treatment subjects who consumed 400 mL/day of red wine for two weeks, or control subjects who abstained from alcohol for two weeks, after which they crossed over into the other group. Blood samples were collected before and after red wine consumption and were used for analysis of whole blood glutathione (GSH), plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and serum total antioxidant status.

Results from this study show consumption of red wine induced significant increases in plasma total antioxidant status (P<0.03), and significant decreases in plasma MDA (P<0.001) and GSH (P<0.004) in young and old subjects. The results show that the consumption of 400 mL/day of red wine for two weeks, significantly increases antioxidant status and decreases oxidative stress in the circulation


It may be implied from this data that red wine provides general oxidative protection and to lipid systems in circulation via the increase in antioxidant status.

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