Oxidative stress is involved in the development of many diseases such as athero-sclerosis, diabetes, aging, cancer, etc. Moderate wine consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and these benefits have been related to both the ethanol and the polyphenol content. Wine phenolics include both flavonoid and non-flavonoid compounds. The hydroxycinnamic acids (caffeic, ferulic and coumaric acids) are the main class of phenolics in white wine.
As described in several studies, polyphenols with their antioxidants properties - are involved in the cardioprotective effect of wine. Ethanol, in addition to its direct effect on reducing the “stickiness” of the blood and increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol, could also play an important role in the absorption of phenolic substances.
However, data on absorption and metabolism of specific phenolic compounds in humans are very scarce, in particular with regards to polyphenols from white wine. In this study, the absorption of the polyphenolic substances in 250 ml of white wine has been investigated in 10 healthy volunteers. It was demonstrated that hydroxycinnamic acids present in wine are absorbed and metabolised in humans. Hence, this study provides further scientific evidence that also moderate white wine consumption can have health benefits.
Source: White wine phenolics are absorbed and extensively metabolised in humans, Nardini M et al, J Agric Food Chem 2009;57:2711-2718.