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 be insufficient to mitigate biological damage, such as that due to oxidative stress. On this basis, the authors also highlight the importance of viticulture and the winemaking process to enhance resveratrol concentrations in wine in order to bolster potential health benefits.

Published in Phenolic compounds
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

The relation between alcohol consumption and mortality is a J-shaped curve in most of the many studies published on this topic. The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies demonstrated in the year 2000 that wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. Wine contains various poliphenolic substances which may be beneficial for health and in particular flavonols (such as myricetin and quercetin), catechin and epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, various phenolic acids and the stilbene resveratrol. In particular, resveratrol seems to play a positive effect on longevity because it increases the expression level of Sirt1, besides its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Moderate wine drinking is part of the Mediterranean diet, together with abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat and a low intake of (red) meat. This healthy diet pattern involves a "Mediterranean way of drinking," that is a regular, moderate wine consumption mainly with food (up to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women). Moderate wine drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer.

Published in Drinking Patterns

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating disorder that strikes 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65, and almost half of all Americans over 85 years old. The odds of an individual developing AD double every five years after the age of 65. While it has become increasingly common to meet heart attack or cancer survivors, there are no AD survivors. There is mounting evidence that dietary polyphenols, including resveratrol, may beneficially influence AD. Based on this consideration, several studies reported in the last few years were designed to validate sensitive and reliable translational tools to mechanistically characterize brain bioavailable polyphenols as disease-modifying agents to help prevent the onset of AD dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. Several research groups worldwide with expertise in AD, plant biology, nutritional sciences, and botanical sciences have reported very high quality studies that ultimately provided the necessary information showing that polyphenols and their metabolites, which come from several dietary sources, including grapes, cocoa etc., are capable of preventing AD. The ultimate goal of these studies was to provide novel strategies to prevent the disease even before the onset of clinical symptoms. The studies discussed in this review article provide support that the information gathered in the last few years of research will have a major impact on AD prevention by providing vital knowledge on the protective roles of polyphenols, including resveratrol. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.

Published in Dementia
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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.