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Healthful Red Wine ~ [Issue 0699-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Jun 30, 1999 08:19 PDT 

British researchers have found more evidence that red wine, as
opposed to other forms of alcohol, can protect against heart disease.
They said they had detailed information on how substances in red wine
can act as antioxidants, which can help stop fat from sticking to
artery walls and clogging them up. Writing in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, they said red wine in its natural form worked
best, but capsules containing these substances, known as polyphenols,
also worked. "Red wine, not white wine, has antioxidant activity when
given to volunteers. This difference is most likely due to the
content of wine polyphenols which are abundant in red wine but not in
white wine," stated Shailja Nigdikar, Alan Howard and colleagues at
Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.

In their study, 30 healthy, nonsmoking men aged 35 to 65 were given
either a half-bottle of cabernet sauvignon red wine, a glass of white
French table wine with polyphenols dissolved in it, or polyphenol
capsules every day for two weeks. A "control" group got a drink made
with 10% vodka and lemon soft drink. Polyphenols include catechins,
OPC's, quercetin, resveratrol and other substances. They are found in
grape skins and seeds. Grape skins are used in making red wine, but
are removed early on in the process of making white wine. As a
result, these valuable phytonutrients are not present to much extent
in white wine as they are in red.

"In our study, red wine consumption in volunteers enhanced
antioxidant activity," Howard and Nigdikar's team stated. "Red wine
but not white wine contains abundant polyphenols, which inhibit the
oxidation of human LDL (low density lipoprotein - the so-called "bad
cholesterol" that can block arteries)." Levels of the polyphenols,
including OPC's, were elevated by 38% with red wine, 28% with
capsules and 27% when the red wine polyphenols were dissolved in white wine.

They measured antioxidant activity by looking at plasma lipid
peroxides - byproducts in the blood of the oxidation of fat.
Peroxides were lowered 32.7% with red wine, 29% by the capsules and
28% by the polyphenol-white wine mixture. They were not reduced at
all by the vodka drink. This indicates that it is not the alcohol
which provided the benefits of red wine. Volumes of research
completed by Dr. Jack Masquelier while at the University of Bordeaux,
have documented the fact that it's the OPC's and not the alcohol in
red wine that provide the strong cardio-protective effects.

Some studies have shown that a moderate intake of any alcohol can
help protect against heart disease and perhaps cancer. Moderate means
one or two drinks a day and no more. However, there is no question
that the OPC's and other polyphenols in red wine are much more
valuable. A Harvard School of Public Health report said women who
consume two to five alcoholic drinks a day have a 41% higher risk of
developing breast cancer than do nondrinkers.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition -Vol. 68

If you do not like red wine but want the healthful benefits that it
contains, then you may be interested in a highly potent nutritional
supplement with OPCs called "Proanthenols Bio-Complex." See
http://www.aomega.com/ahs/p1950a.htm for additional information.
Proanthenols are the most powerful antioxidant vitamins available and
are 20 to 50 times more potent than vitamins C and E!
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