Phenolic compounds


Wine contains phenolic compounds (polyphenols) which give wine its characteristic colour and flavour and are produced by plants in response to fungal infection, ultraviolet light, and various chemical and physical stressors, especially during ripening. They are extracted from the seeds and skins of grapes during fermentation of winemaking, when the juice is in contact with the grape skins and seeds. The amount of polyphenols in red wine is generally greater than white wine because the red juice has longer contact with the grape skins during fermentation enabling more phenolic substances to be extracted into the red juice.

There is evidence that certain polyphenols, such as resveratrol, anthocyanins, flavonols and catechins in wine provide health benefits. Furthermore, rather than polyphenols themselves, their metabolites might be the real key players in cardiovascular and cancer protection. Researchers have shown that these polyphenols in wine act as antioxidants and are five times more potent than the benchmark antioxidant, vitamin E. These antioxidants are believed to reduce the damage caused by the body's free radicals (toxic waste products) which contribute to causing degenerative diseases in the body such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ageing.

The polyphenols may also aid in inhibiting the oxidative transformation of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and thus, preventing the accumulation of this oxidised LDL cholesterol in the artery wall which eventually could block the blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke.

These findings support the overwhelming and still growing body of scientific research indicating that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with lower levels of coronary heart disease as well as with better health and lower mortality, especially when consumed in combination with
a healthy diet.


The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia that is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. Excessive alcohol intake is a well-known risk factor for AF, but this correlation is less clear with light and moderate drinking. Besides, low doses of red wine may acutely prolong repolarization and slow cardiac conduction. Resveratrol, a bioactive polyphenol found in grapes and red wine, has been linked to antiarrhythmic properties and may act as an inhibitor of both intracellular calcium release and pathological signaling cascades in AF, eliminating calcium overload and preserving the cardiomyocyte contractile function. However, there are still no clinical trials at all that prove that resveratrol supplementation leads to improved outcomes. Besides, no observational study supports…
Resveratrol, (3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene) is a non-flavonoid polyphenol stilbene synthesized by plants when damaged by infectious diseases or ionizing radiation. Although present in more than seventy plant species, grapes and wine are the major dietary contributors of resveratrol, responsible for 98% of the daily intake. In 1992, Renaud and De Lorgeril first linked wine polyphenols, including resveratrol, to the potential health benefits ascribed to regular and moderate wine consumption (the so called "French Paradox"). Since then, resveratrol has received increasing scientific interest, leading to research on its biological actions, and to a large number of published papers, which have been collected and discussed in this review. The relatively low amounts of resveratrol measured in wine following moderate consumption, however, may…
In humans, urinary hydroxytyrosol (OHTyr) concentrations have been associated to alcohol and wine consumption. To explore the role of wine components on promoting an endogenous OHTyr generation we performed a cross-over, double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial (n = 28 healthy volunteers). Ethanol (wine and vodka), dealcoholized wine, and placebo were administered. Alcohol, dealcoholized wine, and particularly wine promoted a de novo OHTyr generation in vivo in humans. Potential OHTyr precursors (tyrosine, tyrosol, tyramine) were investigated in rats. Tyrosol was metabolized to OHTyr. Collating both studies, it is postulated that an increased Tyr bioavailability, a shift to a reductive pathway in dopamine and tyramine oxidative metabolism, and the biotransformation of Tyr to OHTyr were mechanisms involved in the OHTyr endogenous generation.
BACKGROUND: Mediterranean-style diet has been considered for its important beneficial effects on the progression of CV disease. Wine is an important component of the Mediterranean diet, and moderate wine drinkers have lower mortality rates than nondrinkers and heavy drinkers in epidemiologic studies. The beneficial effects of red wine are thought to be dependent on the polyphenol compounds such as resveratrol that exhibit potent antioxidant activity. However, white wine, although lacking polyphenols, contains simple phenols, such as tyrosol (Tyr) and hydroxytyrosol (OH-Tyr), characteristic also of extra-virgin olive oil, which may share similar antioxidant and inflammatory properties. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The effect of white wine and extra-virgin olive oil on inflammatory markers was evaluated in 10 healthy volunteers and in 10 patients…
The intestinal microbiome plays an important role in the metabolism of chemical compounds found within food. Bacterial metabolites are different from those that can be generated by human enzymes because bacterial processes occur under anaerobic conditions and are based mainly on reactions of reduction and/or hydrolysis. In most cases, bacterial metabolism reduces the activity of dietary compounds; however, sometimes a specific product of bacterial transformation exhibits enhanced properties. Studies on the metabolism of polyphenols by the intestinal microbiota are crucial for understanding the role of these compounds and their impact on our health. This review article presents possible pathways of polyphenol metabolism by intestinal bacteria and describes the diet-derived bioactive metabolites produced by gut microbiota, with a particular emphasis on…
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