Page last updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Red Wine and Smoking
Unpublished research presented by John Lekakis and Christos Papamichael of University Hospital in Athens at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in September 2003 claims there are enough beneficial chemicals in two glasses of red wine to suspend the harmful effect that smoking one cigarette has on the functioning of arteries.That does not prove regular red wine drinking can counteract the harm of chronic smoking, they emphasise.

The scientists used a Greek red wine on 16 healthy volunteers. It is suggested that wine polyphenols block production of endothelin-1 which causes blood vessels to contract, increasing blood pressure and the danger of a heart attack.

One cigarette, smoked intensively, was enough to damage arterial function for up to an hour afterwards, An intake of polyphenols at the same time counteracted that effect. They established that alcohol was not the cause of the beneficial effect by testing an alcohol-free version, which worked just as well.

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