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.


Several studies have cited the Mediterranean diet as an example of healthy eating. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has become the reference diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Red wine seems to be an essential component of the diet, since moderate consumption of wine is associated with lower risk and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Evidence is also accumulating that wine helps prevent the development of certain cancers. Of all the many components of wine, resveratrol, which is a natural component specifically present in wine, has been identified as being mainly responsible for these health-promoting properties. Many valuable properties such as cardioprotective and anticarcinogenic activity have been attributed to resveratrol; however, its bioavailability is quite low. The bioactivity of metabolites…
Extensive research within the last decade has revealed that most chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases exhibit dysregulation of multiple cell signaling pathways that have been linked to inflammation. Thus mono-targeted therapies developed for the last two decades for these diseases have proven to be unsafe, ineffective and expensive. Although fruits and vegetables are regarded to have therapeutic potential against chronic illnesses, neither their active component nor the mechanism of action is well understood. Resveratrol (trans-3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene), a component of grapes, berries, peanuts and other traditional medicines, is one such polyphenol that has been shown to mediate its effects through modulation of many different pathways. This stilbene has been shown…
Abnormal angiogenesis is central to the pathophysiology of diverse disease processes including cancers, ischemic and atherosclerotic heart disease, and visually debilitating eye disease. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytoalexin that has been demonstrated to ameliorate and decelerate the aging process as well as blunt end organ damage from obesity. These effects of resveratrol are largely mediated by members of the sirtuin family of proteins. We demonstrate that resveratrol can inhibit pathological angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro by a sirtuin-independent pathway. Resveratrol inhibits the proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells by activating eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase. The active kinase in turn phosphorylates and inactivates elongation factor-2, a key mediator of ribosomal transfer and protein translation. Functional inhibition of the…
Resveratrol, which may occur in wine, was suggested to act as a chemopreventive agent against the carcinogenic effects of ethanol. The assumption was based on data from experimental animals, which have shown that resveratrol above certain thresholds may reduce the incidence of tumours in several of the alcohol-related cancer sites (colon, liver and female breast). Using a probabilistic Monte Carlo type methodology, we estimated daily intake based on chemical analysis of resveratrol (n = 672) and ethanol (n = 867). Benchmark dose (BMD)-response modelling was conducted for resveratrol based on eight animal experiments, whereas BMD data for ethanol were taken from the literature. The margin of exposure (MOE) was calculated for both substances as an indicator if the intake may…
Misfolded proteins associated with diverse aggregation disorders assemble not only into a single toxic conformer, but rather a suite of aggregated conformers with unique biochemical properties and toxicities. To what extent small molecules can target and neutralize specific aggregated conformers is poorly understood. Therefore, we have investigated the capacity of resveratrol to recognize and remodel five conformers (monomers, soluble oligomers, non-toxic oligomers, fibrillar intermediates and amyloid fibrils) of the Abeta1-42 peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease. We find that resveratrol selectively remodels three of these conformers - soluble oligomers, fibrillar intermediates and amyloid fibrils - into an alternative aggregated species that is non-toxic, high molecular weight and unstructured. Surprisingly, resveratrol does not remodel non-toxic oligomers or accelerate Abeta monomer aggregation, despite…

Our Partners


Contact us

We love your feedback. Get in touch with us.

  • Hot line: +32 (0)2 230 99 70
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Connect with us

We're on Social Networks. Follow us.


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.