Moderate consumption of red wine has been widely associated with reduced cardiovascular risk, mainly due to its composition in phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity, such as resveratrol. A study compared the effect of red wine vs. trans-resveratrol consumption on the prevention and regression of atherosclerosis in LDLr (-/-) mice.
The study consisted of two protocols: "Prevention" and "Regression". Both protocols included four groups: red wine (WINE), dealcoholized red wine (EXT), trans-resveratrol (RESV), and control (CONT). In the Prevention protocol, animals received a regular diet for 8 weeks and then switched to an atherogenic diet for the following 8 weeks. The opposite was performed in the Regression protocol.
Animals that received atherogenic diet after an initial period of standard diet (Prevention protocol) gained more body weight (39.25±2.30%) than the in the Regression protocol (29.27±1.91%, P=.0013), suggesting an interaction between age and weight gain. Trans-resveratrol showed the highest hypocholesterolemic effect during the prevention protocol, reducing total cholesterol, LDL-C, VLDL-C and HDL-C. Supplementation with transresveratrol and dealcoholized red wine changed the fatty acids profile in the liver in both protocols, leading to an increase of Malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations, a marker for oxidative stress, and Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the prevention protocol.
The researchers conclude that supplementation with trans-resveratrol, red wine and the same wine without alcohol altered biomarkers of oxidative stress and lipidemia but had no effect on the prevention or regression of fatty streaks. These data suggest that cardiovascular protection associated with the "French Paradox" may be a result of synergistic effects between wine and the Mediterranean diet.
Source: Comparison between red wine and isolated trans-resveratrol on the prevention and regression of atherosclerosis in LDLr (-/-) mice. Chassot LN, Scolaro B, Roschel GG, Cogliati B, Cavalcanti MF, Abdalla DSP, Castro IA. J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Aug 16;61:48-55. .