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.


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…
The aim of this review is to discuss the accumulating evidence that suggests that grape extracts and purified grape polyphenols possess a diverse array of biological actions and may be beneficial in the prevention of some inflammatory-mediated diseases including cardiovascular disease. The active components from grape extracts, which include the grape seed, grape skin, and grape juice, that have been identified thus far include polyphenols such as resveratrol, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. All possess potent antioxidant properties and have been shown to decrease low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol oxidation and platelet aggregation. These compounds also possess a range of additional cardioprotective and vasoprotective properties including antiatherosclerotic, antiarrhythmic, and vasorelaxation actions. Although not exclusive, antioxidant properties of grape polyphenols are likely to be…
Several beneficial effects of resveratrol (RES), a natural antioxidant present in red wine have already been described. The aim of our study was to investigate if RES had a clinically measurable cardioprotective effect in patients after myocardial infarction. In this double-blind, placebo controlled trial 40 post-infarction Caucasian patients were randomized into two groups. One group received 10 mg RES capsule daily for 3 months. Systolic and diastolic left ventricular function, flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), several laboratory and hemorheological parameters were measured before and after the treatment. Left ventricular ejection fraction showed an increasing tendency (ns) by RES treatment. However, left ventricular diastolic function was improved significantly (p < 0.01) by RES. A significant improvement in endothelial function measured by FMD was…
Despite the vast literature describing the biological effects of phenolic compounds, rather scarce data are available on their absorption from diet in humans. The present study focused on the absorption in humans of phenolic acids from white wine, particularly hydroxycinnamic acids and their esters with tartaric acid. The results obtained indicate that, following a single wine drink, hydroxycinnamic acids from white wine are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and circulate in the blood after being largely metabolized to the form of glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. Unmodified tartaric acid esters of hydroxycinnamic acids from wine are present in human plasma at low levels, if any. Wine hydroxycinnamic acids, although present in wine as conjugated forms, are still bioavailable to humans.

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