25 August 2020 In Phenolic compounds

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Epidemiological data suggest that moderate red wine consumption reduces cardiovascular mortality and the incidence of diabetes. However, whether these effects are due to ethanol or to non-alcoholic components of red wine still remains unknown. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of moderate consumption of red wine, dealcoholized red wine, and gin on glucose metabolism and the lipid profile.

METHODS: Sixty-seven men at high cardiovascular risk were randomized in a crossover trial. After a run-in period, all received each of red wine (30 g alcohol/d), the equivalent amount of dealcoholized red wine, and gin (30 g alcohol/d) for 4 week periods, in a randomized order. Fasting plasma glucose and insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), plasma lipoproteins, apolipoproteins and adipokines were determined at baseline and after each intervention.

RESULTS: Fasting glucose remained constant throughout the study, while mean adjusted plasma insulin and HOMA-IR decreased after red wine and dealcoholized red wine. HDL cholesterol, Apolipoprotein A-I and A-II increased after red wine and gin. Lipoprotein(a) decreased after the red wine intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: These results support a beneficial effect of the non-alcoholic fraction of red wine (mainly polyphenols) on insulin resistance, conferring greater protective effects on cardiovascular disease to red wine than other alcoholic beverages. www.isrctn.org: ISRCTN88720134.

26 June 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Over the last few decades, polyphenols, and flavonoids in particular, have attracted the interest of researchers, as they have been associated with the health-promoting effects derived from diets rich in vegetables and fruits, including moderate wine consumption. Recent scientific evidence suggests that wine polyphenols exert their effects through interactions with the gut microbiota, as they seem to modulate microbiota and, at the same time, are metabolized by intestinal bacteria into specific bioavailable metabolites.

Microbial metabolites are better absorbed than their precursors and may be responsible for positive health activities in the digestive system (local effects) and, after being absorbed, in tissues and organs (systemic effects). Differences in gut microbiota composition and functionality among individuals can affect polyphenol activity and, therefore, their health effects.

The aim of this review is to integrate the understanding of the metabolism and mechanisms of action of wine polyphenols at both local and systemic levels, underlining their impact on the gut microbiome and the inter-individual variability associated with polyphenols' metabolism and further physiological effects. The advent of promising dietary approaches linked to wine polyphenols beyond the gut microbiota community and metabolism are also discussed.

04 May 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Deficits in the cerebral microcirculation contribute to age-related cognitive decline. In a pilot study of postmenopausal women, we found that supplementation with a low dose of resveratrol, a phytoestrogen, for 14 weeks improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions.

We have since undertaken a larger, longer term study to confirm these benefits. Postmenopausal women aged 45-85 years (n = 129) were randomized to take placebo or 75 mg trans-resveratrol twice daily for 12 months. Effects on cognition, cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular responsiveness (CVR) and cardiometabolic markers (blood pressure, diabetes markers and fasting lipids) were assessed. Compared to placebo, resveratrol improved overall cognitive performance (P < 0.001) and attenuated the decline in CVR to cognitive stimuli (P = 0.038). The latter effect was associated with reduction of fasting blood glucose (r = -0.339, P = 0.023).

This long-term study confirms that regular consumption of resveratrol can enhance cognitive and cerebrovascular functions in postmenopausal women, with the potential to slow cognitive decline due to ageing and menopause.

04 May 2020 In Phenolic compounds

SIRT1 protects against several complex metabolic and ageing-related diseases (MARDs), and is therefore considered a polypill target to improve healthy ageing. Although dietary sirtuin-activating compounds (dSTACs) including resveratrol are promising drug candidates, their clinical application has been frustrated by an imprecise understanding of how their signals are transduced into increased healthspan.

Recent work indicates that SIRT1 and orthologous sirtuins coactivate the oestrogen receptor/ER and the worm steroid receptor DAF-12. Here they are further shown to ligand-independently transduce dSTACs signals through these receptors. While some dSTACs elicit ER subtype-selectivity in the presence of hormone, most synergize with 17beta-oestradiol and dafachronic acid respectively to increase ER and DAF-12 coactivation by the sirtuins.

These data suggest that dSTACs functionally mimic gonadal steroid hormones, enabling sirtuins to transduce the cognate signals through a conserved endocrine pathway. Interestingly, resveratrol non-monotonically modulates sirtuin signalling, suggesting that it may induce hormesis, i.e. "less is more".

Together, the findings suggest that dSTACs may be informational molecules that use exploitative mimicry to modulate sirtuin signalling through steroid receptors. Hence dSTACs' intrinsic oestrogenicity may underlie their proven ability to impart the health benefits of oestradiol, and also provides a mechanistic insight into how they extend healthspan or protect against MARDs.

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