This chapter summarizes the studies with wine or wine-derived products, aimed at finding biological explanations for the cardioprotective effects of moderate wine consumption. The protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption has been consistently shown in many epidemiological studies. Antiatherogenic alterations in plasma lipoproteins are considered as the most plausible mechanism of the protective effect of alcohol consumption on coronary artery disease. Other potential mechanisms include-antithrombotic alterations of blood platelet function, and coagulation and fibrinolysis balance. Wine might conceivably have other nonethanol related beneficial effects. The biological rationale for such a hypothesis is linked to the enrichment in grape-derived, nonalcoholic components that possibly make it peculiar in respect to other alcoholic beverages. In fact, while the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on cardiovascular disease are limited to lipid metabolism and the haemostatic system, those related to wine consumption are also extended to specific antioxidant and vasorelaxant properties of its polyphenolic constituents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)