Wednesday, 13 December 2017 15:12

Red Wine, Resveratrol and Atrial Fibrillation

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 a beneficial effect of light or moderate alcohol intake and a lower risk of AF. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe possible beneficial effects of red wine and resveratrol in AF, and also present studies conducted in humans regarding chronic red wine consumption, resveratrol, and AF.

Published in Phenolic compounds
Thursday, 22 June 2017 13:32

Preventing Binge Drinking in Adolescents

BACKGROUND: In a survey taken in Germany in 2015, 14.1% of the 12- to 17-year-olds surveyed had practiced binge drinking at least once in the preceding 30 days. The school program "Klar bleiben" ("Keep a Clear Head") was designed for and implemented among 10th graders. The participants committed themselves to abstain from binge drinking for 9 weeks. We studied whether this intervention influenced the frequency and intensity of binge drinking.

METHODS: This cluster-randomized controlled trial was carried out in 196 classes of 61 schools, with a total of 4163 participants with a mean age of 15.6 years (standard deviation 0.73 years). Data were collected by questionnaire in late 2015, before the intervention and again six months later. The primary endpoints were the frequency of consumption of at least 4 or 5 alcoholic drinks (for girls and boys, respectively) and the typical quantity consumed. This trial was registered in the German Clinical Trials Registry (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien, DRKS) with the DRKS ID number DRKS00009424.

RESULTS: At the beginning of the trial, there was no difference between the intervention group and the control group with respect to the primary endpoints. After the intervention, differences were found among participants who had consumed alcohol before the trial (73.2% of the overall sample): binge drinking at least once in the preceding month was reported by 49.4% of the control group and by 44.2% in the intervention group (p = 0.028). The mean number of alcoholic drinks consumed in each drinking episode was 5.20 in the control group and 5.01 in the intervention group (p = 0.047).

CONCLUSION: The intervention was effective only in the large subgroup of adolescents who had previously consumed alcohol: they drank alcohol less often and in smaller amounts than their counterparts in the control group.

Published in Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: In cross-sectional studies and short-term clinical trials, it has been suggested that there is a positive dose-response relation between alcohol consumption and HDL concentrations. However, prospective data have been limited.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the association between total alcohol intake, the type of alcohol-containing beverage, and the 6-y (2006-2012) longitudinal change in HDL-cholesterol concentrations in a community-based cohort.

DESIGN: A total of 71,379 Chinese adults (mean age: 50 y) who were free of cardiovascular diseases and cancer and did not use cholesterol-lowering agents during follow-up were included in the study. Alcohol intake was assessed via a questionnaire in 2006 (baseline), and participants were classified into the following categories of alcohol consumption: never, past, light (women: 0-0.4 servings/d; men: 0-0.9 servings/d), moderate (women: 0.5-1.0 servings/d; men: 1-2 servings/d), and heavy (women: >1.0 servings/d; men: >2 servings/d). HDL-cholesterol concentrations were measured in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012. We used generalized estimating equation models to examine the associations between baseline alcohol intake and the change in HDL-cholesterol concentrations with adjustment for age, sex, smoking, physical activity, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, liver function, and C-reactive protein concentrations.

RESULTS: An umbrella-shaped association was observed between total alcohol consumption and changes in HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Compared with never drinkers, past, light, moderate, and heavy drinkers experienced slower decreases in HDL cholesterol of 0.012 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.008, 0.016 mmol . L-1 . y-1), 0.013 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.010, 0.016 mmol . L-1 . y-1), 0.017 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.009, 0.025 mmol . L-1 . y-1), and 0.008 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.005, 0.011 mmol . L-1 . y-1), respectively (P < 0.0001 for all), after adjustment for potential confounders. Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with the slowest increase in total-cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride: HDL-cholesterol ratios. We observed a similar association between hard-liquor consumption and the HDL-cholesterol change. In contrast, greater beer consumption was associated with slower HDL-cholesterol decreases in a dose-response manner.

CONCLUSION: Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with slower HDL-cholesterol decreases; however, the type of alcoholic beverage had differential effects on the change in the HDL-cholesterol concentration.

Published in General Health

AIMS: Observational studies report inconsistent associations between moderate alcohol intake and blood pressure (BP). In a sub-study of a larger randomized controlled trial, we assessed the effect of initiating moderate red wine consumption on 24-h BP recordings and the effect of a common genetic variant of alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) among patients with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: Fifty-four type 2 diabetes, alcohol abstainers were randomized to consume 150ml/dinner dry red wine or mineral water. Both groups were guided to adhere to a Mediterranean diet, without caloric restriction. We measured 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) at baseline and after 6 months.

RESULTS: Participants (age = 57 years; 85% men; mean 24-h BP = 129/77mm Hg) had 92% 6-month retention. After 6 months of intervention, the average 24-h BP did not differ between the wine and water groups. A transient decrease in BP was observed in the red wine group at midnight (3-4 hours after wine intake: systolic BP: red wine = -10.6mm Hg vs. mineral water = +2.3mm Hg; P = 0.031) and the following morning at 7-9 am (red wine: -6.2mm Hg vs. mineral water: +5.6mm Hg; P = 0.014). In a second post hoc sub-analysis among the red wine consumers, individuals who were homozygous for the gene encoding ADH1B*2 variant (Arg48His; rs1229984, TT, fast ethanol metabolizers), exhibited a reduction in mean 24-h systolic BP (-8.0mm Hg vs. +3.7mm Hg; P = 0.002) and pulse pressure (-3.8mm Hg vs. +1.2mm Hg; P = 0.032) compared to heterozygotes and those homozygous for the ADH1B*1 variant (CC, slow metabolizers).

CONCLUSIONS: Initiating moderate red wine consumption at dinner among type 2 diabetes patients does not have a discernable effect on mean 24-h BP. Yet, a modest temporal BP reduction could be documented, and a more pronounced BP-lowering effect is suggested among fast ethanol metabolizers.


Published in Diabetes
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