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Researchers identify beneficial chemical in red wine
01.17.2012Numerous studies have linked red wine to cardiovascular benefits. However, this raises the important question, is the alcohol content of the beverage responsible for the effect or some other compound in red wine? A new study suggests the answer may be, both.
Red wine has very high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. Experts have theorized that these molecules may be behind the cardiovascular benefits of drinking red wine. However, few studies have independently looked at the health effects of the various components of red wine.
That is what makes the present study unique. In order to learn how the different chemicals in red wine impact heart health, researchers from the University of Barcelona in Spain asked participants to drink 30 grams per day of alcohol from red wine or from gin. A third group was instructed to consume an equivalent amount of dealcoholized red wine.
The results showed that there may be some benefit to consuming either type of beverage included in the study. Those who drank the dealcoholized wine showed signs that their immune system was kept in check and was not contributing to inflammation, an important risk factor for heart disease. On the other hand, alcohol drinkers exhibited fewer signs of inflammation specifically in their cardiovascular system.
Findings from the investigation suggest that individuals who are looking to support their cardiovascular health may benefit regardless of whether they choose to drink red wine in moderation or to take antioxidant supplements containing nutrients commonly found in the beverage.
Furthermore, the study may make it easier for doctors to make concrete recommendations regarding alcohol consumption, as this is one of the first studies to explain the mechanism by which red wine supports heart health.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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