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Red, red wine

September 6, 2011

The Column

The Column, The Column-09-06-2011, Volume 7, Issue 16

The cardiovascular benefits of drinking red wine are well known but far less well known are the mechanisms behind this effect. A new study into red wine polyphenols has suggested that they may be helping to protect omega-3 fatty acids from breaking down in the body.1

The cardiovascular benefits of drinking red wine are well known but far less well known are the mechanisms behind this effect. A new study into red wine polyphenols has suggested that they may be helping to protect omega-3 fatty acids from breaking down in the body.1

Red wine is a natural source of polyphenols, a group of chemicals associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses. A study, published in Food Research International, has investigated the effects of the polyphenols from red wine on the human plasma fatty acids and their oxidization, particularly looking at those involved in the inflammatory response.

The oxidizability of the major fatty acids in plasma was determined by measuring their deterioration by gas chromatography. The study found that the polyphenols increased the resistance to peroxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids involved in the inflammatory response compared with omega-6 acids. It was suggested that the results could show the wine polyphenols are making the acids less accessible to hydro-soluble radicals, providing a biochemical rationale for future studies on these potential health benefits.

1. R. Cazzola and B. Cestaro, Food Research International (in press).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.