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What happens when red wine meets red meat? If the rendezvous happens in the stomach, scientists in Israel are reporting, wine's bounty of healthful chemical compounds may thwart formation of harmful substances released during digestion of fat in the meat.
The Stomach as a “Bioreactor”: When Red Meat Meets Red Wine
To determine the stomach bioreactor capability for food oxidation or antioxidation, rats were fed red turkey meat cutlets (meal A) or red turkey meat cutlets and red wine concentrate (meal B). The hydroperoxides (LOOH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of the stomach contents were evaluated during and after digestion; the postprandial plasma MDA level was also evaluated. In independently fed rats, the stomach LOOH concentration fell substantially 90 min following the meal, and the addition of red wine polyphenols enhanced LOOH reduction 3-fold. A similar trend was obtained for MDA. After pyloric ligation, the stomach contents of rats fed red meat homogenate showed >2-fold increases in LOOH and MDA accumulation. The postprandial plasma MDA level increased significantly by 50% following meal A and was maintained or even fell by 34% below basal level following meal B. The findings show that consumption of partially oxidized food could increase lipid peroxidation in the stomach and the absorption of cytotoxic lipid peroxidation products into the body. The addition of antioxidants such as red wine polyphenols to the meal may alter these outcomes. These findings explain the potentially harmful effects of oxidized fats in foods and the important benefit of consuming dietary polyphenols during the meal.