17 November 2021 In Phenolic compounds

A considerable amount of literature has been published claiming the cardiovascular benefits of moderate (red) wine drinking, which has been considered a distinguishing trait of the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, red wine contains relevant amounts of polyphenols, for which evidence of their biological activity and positive health effects are abundant; however, it is also well-known that alcohol, even at a low level of intake, may have severe consequences for health. Among others, it is directly related to a number of non-communicable diseases, like liver cirrhosis or diverse types of cancer.

The IARC classifies alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen, causally associated with the development of cancers of the upper digestive tract and liver, and, with sufficient evidence, can be positively associated with colorectum and female breast cancer. In these circumstances, it is tricky, if not irresponsible, to spread any message on the benefits of moderate wine drinking, about which no actual consensus exists.

It should be further considered that other hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet are the richness in virgin olive oil, fruits, grains, and vegetables, which are also good sources of polyphenols and other phytochemicals, and lack the risks of wine. All of these aspects are reviewed in this article.

17 November 2021 In General Health

Earlier age at menopause is associated with increased long-term health risks. Moderate alcohol intake has been suggested to delay menopause onset, but it is unknown whether alcohol subtypes are associated with early menopause onset at age 45. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate risk of early natural menopause among n=107,817 Nurses' Health Study II members followed from 1989-2011. Alcohol consumption overall, and by subtypes including beer, red wine, white wine, and liquor was assessed throughout follow-up. We estimated hazard ratios (HR) in multivariable models adjusting for age, body mass index, parity, smoking and other potential confounders. Women reporting moderate, current alcohol consumption had lower risks of early menopause than non-drinkers. Those reporting 10-14.9 g/day had lower risk of early menopause compared to non-drinkers (HR = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68, 0.97). Among specific beverages, evidence of lower early menopause risk was confined to white wine, and potentially red wine and liquor, but not to beer. Data from this large prospective study suggest a weak association of moderate alcohol intake with lower risk of early menopause, which was most pronounced for consumption of white and red wine, and liquor. High consumption was not related to lower early menopause risk.

22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Many studies conclude that wine consumption is related to lower risk for cardiovascular diseases partially through the amelioration of inflammatory biomarkers. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of wine consumption on the inflammatory response and to compare these effects with the consumption of similar amount of alcohol without the wine micro-constituents in cardiovascular disease patients. Therefore, a randomized, single-blind, controlled, three-arm parallel intervention study was designed. Cardiovascular disease patients were randomly assigned to one of the three groups. In Group A participants consumed no alcohol, in Group B (ethanol group) and Group C (wine group) participants consumed 27 g of alcohol per day. Biological samples were collected at the beginning, on the 4th and 8th week and several biomarkers were measured. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells that were isolated from patients were incubated under basal and inflammatory conditions for 4 and 24 h and the secretion of interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) was measured. No significant difference was observed among the three groups before the initiation or during the intervention in the most soluble biomarkers. Higher TNFalpha secretion by peripheral blood mononuclear cells was observed at basal conditions in the ethanol group both at 4 and 24 h of incubation versus baseline secretion. Furthermore, lower secretion of the TauNFalpha was observed after 8 weeks of intake in the wine group versus the ethanol group, both at 4 and 24 h of incubation. In conclusion, the light to moderate wine consumption for 8 weeks revealed an attenuation of the ethanol consumption effect on cytokine secretion at basal conditions from the patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

23 September 2021 In Cardiovascular System
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to characterize associations of total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption with incident atrial fibrillation (AF). BACKGROUND: Although binge drinking and moderate to high consumption of alcohol are both established risk factors for AF, comparatively less is known about the effect of low alcohol consumption and whether associations differ by specific alcoholic beverages. METHODS: Using data from the UK Biobank, total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption was calculated as UK standard drinks (8 g alcohol) per week. Past drinkers and those with a history of AF were excluded. Incident AF events were assessed through hospitalization and death records, and dose-response associations were characterized using Cox regression models with correction for regression dilution bias. RESULTS: We studied 403,281 middle-aged individuals (52.4% female). Over a median follow-up time of 11.4 years (interquartile range: 10.7-12.3), a total of 21,312 incident AF events occurred. A J-shaped association of total alcohol consumption was observed, with lowest risk of AF with fewer than 7 drinks/week. Beverage-specific analyses demonstrated harmful associations of beer/cider consumption with any consumption. In contrast, consumption of red wine, white wine, and spirits up to 10, 8, and 3 drinks/week, respectively, was not associated with increased risk. CONCLUSIONS: In this predominantly White population, low levels of alcohol consumption (
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