26 January 2022 In Cardiovascular System

The consumption of food for pleasure is mainly associated with adverse health effects. This review was carried out to verify recent reports on the impact of chocolate and wine consumption on cardiovascular health, with a particular focus on atherosclerosis. On one side, these products have proven adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, but on the other hand, if consumed in optimal amounts, they have cardiovascular benefits.

The submitted data suggest that the beneficial doses are 30-50 g and 130/250 mL for chocolate and wine, respectively, for women and men. The accumulated evidence indicates that the active ingredients in the products under consideration in this review are phenolic compounds, characterized by anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiplatelet properties. However, there are also some reports of cardioprotective properties of other compounds such as esters, amines, biogenic amines, amino acids, fatty acids, mineral ingredients, and vitamins.

Our narrative review has shown that in meta-analyses of intervention studies, consumption of chocolate and wine was positively associated with the beneficial outcomes associated with the cardiovascular system. In contrast, the assessment with the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) scale did not confirm this phenomenon.

In addition, mechanisms of action of bioactive compounds present in chocolate and wine depend on some factors, such as age, sex, body weight, and the presence of additional medical conditions. Patients using cardiovascular drugs simultaneously with both products should be alert to the risk of pharmacologically relevant interactions during their use.

Our narrative review leads to the conclusion that there is abundant evidence to prove the beneficial impact of consuming both products on cardiovascular health, however some evidence still remains controversial. Many authors of studies included in this review postulated that well-designed, longitudinal studies should be performed to determine the effects of these products and their components on atherosclerosis and other CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) disease.

26 January 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND & AIMS: To investigate potential biases that exist in available epidemiological evidence resulting in negative associations or underestimation of cardiovascular (CV) risk associated with alcohol consumption.

METHODS: UK Biobank involved baseline data collection from 22 assessment centres across the United Kingdom. The cohort consisted of 333 259 alcohol consumers and 21 710 never drinkers. Participants were followed up for a median 6.9 years capturing incident fatal and non-fatal CV events, ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. Alcohol intake was reported as grams/week.

RESULTS: Using never drinkers as reference, alcohol from all drink types combined (hazard ratios ranging between 0.61 and 0.74), beer/cider (0.70-0.80) and spirits combined, and all wines combined (0.66-0.77) associated with a reduced risk for all outcome measures (all CV events, ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease). In continuous analysis, alcohol captured from all drink types combined (hazard ratio, 1.08, 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.14), and beer/cider and spirits combined (1.24, 1.17-1.31) associated with an increased risk for overall CV events, however hazard ratios were stronger for beer/cider and spirits (P < 0.0001). Wine associated with a reduced risk for overall CV events (0.92, 0.86-0.98) and ischemic heart disease (0.75, 0.67-0.84). This negative relationship with overall CV events was lost after excluding ischemic heart disease events (1.00, 0.93-1.08), while the positive association of alcohol captured from beer/cider and spirits remained significant (1.30, 1.22-1.40). This positive association with overall CV events was present even when consuming less than 14 units per week.

CONCLUSIONS: Avoiding potential biases prevents underestimation of cardiovascular risk and indicates that consuming up to 14 units per week also associated with increased CV risk in the general population.

22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Postmenopausal women are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to changes in lipid profile and body fat, among others. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of urinary tartaric acid, a biomarker of wine consumption, with anthropometric (weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-height ratio), blood pressure, and biochemical variables (blood glucose and lipid profile) that may be affected during the menopausal transition.

This sub-study of the PREDIMED (Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea) trial included a sample of 230 women aged 60-80 years with high cardiovascular risk at baseline. Urine samples were diluted and filtered, and tartaric acid was analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS).

Correlations between tartaric acid and the study variables were adjusted for age, education level, smoking status, physical activity, BMI, cholesterol-lowering, antihypertensive, and insulin treatment, total energy intake, and consumption of fruits, vegetables, and raisins.

A strong association was observed between wine consumption and urinary tartaric acid (0.01 mug/mg (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01, 0.01), p-value < 0.001). Total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were inversely correlated with urinary tartaric acid (-3.13 mug/mg (-5.54, -0.71), p-value = 0.016 and -3.03 mug/mg (-5.62, -0.42), p-value = 0.027, respectively), whereas other biochemical and anthropometric variables were unrelated. The results suggest that wine consumption may have a positive effect on cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women, underpinning its nutraceutical properties.

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