Page last updated: Thursday, November 26, 2009
Regular consumption of red wine may enhance the body’s antioxidant defenses
A study by researchers from the Universities of Seville (U.S.) and Pablo de Olavide (UPO) conclude that the moderate consumption of red wine may strengthen the body’s own antioxidant defenses. The work aimed to see the influence of intake of red wine on endogenous antioxidant enzymes.

The research was based on eight volunteers between 23 and 37, who consumed 300 milliliters of red wine at dinner over a week. This practice was carried out with a special diet low in other food sources of antioxidant compounds, with the intention that they did not invalidate the results.

A blood sample was taken from each participant before the intake, on the second and seventh days. These were compared with control samples from another week in which the participants followed the same diet low in antioxidant compounds but not wine intake.

The study looks at ‘viable’ human doses and showed a “significant increase” in plasma antioxidant capacity. The researchers also found a “significant change” of endogenous antioxidant compounds, but an increase in the activity of certain antioxidant enzymes (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase). As for the gene expression of these enzymes, the comparison between the different weeks study found an increase on the seventh day of the week intervention of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, while catalase remained unaffected.

The catalase in the week control, increased gene expression, which can be interpreted as an effort by the agency for attempting to counteract the increased production of free radicals in a week that are not taking antioxidants, according to the researchers. Given these data, scientists involved in the study concluded that both enzymes were regulated differently, although further studies are needed to reinforce this idea.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Soledad Fernandez, Genevieve Berná, Eduardo Otaolaurruchi, J. Agric. Food Chem., 2009, 57 (15), pp 6578–6583

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