Epidemiological studies have shown that some dietary factors and
moderate drinking protect against cardiovascular disease. With
CHD mortality, foods of animal origin correlate directly and foods
of vegetable origin, fish and alcohol inversely. In the Seven
Countries Study, populations used to a Mediterranean diet (rich
in vegetables, olive oil, fish and wine) had the lowest mortality
of the 7 countries studied.
The aim of this study by Dr. Mezzano , Prof. Leighton et al, was
to compare the effect of an alcohol-free Mediterranean diet (MD)
and a high-fat diet (HFD) on plasma levels of emergent haemostatic
cardiovascular risk factors (HCVRF) and to test if red wine supplementation
modifies HCVRF independent of diet.
Subjects were 42 male university students aged 22+who were equally
assigned to MD (n=15) or HFD (n=15) or were free to select either
diet (n=12) for 90 days. All subjects were free of clinical disease
and obesity, had serum lipids and glucose within the normal range,
were either light drinkers or teetotal. From day 31-60, both diets
were supplemented with 240 ml red wine providing 23.2g alcohol
daily. In the last 30 days, they received the same diet as in
the first period.
Fasting blood samples drawn around 08.00 on days 0, 30, 60 and
90 were used to measure haemostatic and selected nutritional variables.
Subjects on HFD at day 30 showed increases in the pro-coagulants
fibrinogen (22%), factor VIIc (9%) and factor VIIIc (4%) and decreases
in the natural anticoagulants antithrombin III (3%), protein C
(11%) and protein S (6%) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1
(PAI-1, 20%). Subjects on MD showed increases in fibrinogen (4%),
antithrombin III (5%), protein C (3%) and protein S (2.7%) and
decreases in factor VIIIc (9%) and PAI-1 (21%).The MD was associated
with lower plasma fibrinogen, factor VIIc and factor VIIIc and
with higher levels of protein S, after adjustment for baseline
Red wine supplementation, in both diets, decreased plasma fibrinogen
and factor VIIc and increased tissue plasminogen activator and
PAI-1 antigen. Also associated with wine supplementation were
differential effects on antithrombin III: it increased by 10%
in subjects on HFD and increased slightly in those on MD.
The results of this study confirm that moderate use of red wine
further improves the favourable haemostatic profile of a Mediterranean
diet. A MD and moderate use of red wine have complementary, most
beneficial effects on haemostatic cardiovascular risk factors.
Source.Mezzano D, Leighton F, Martinez C et al. Complementary
effects of Mediterranean diet and moderate red wine intake on
haemostatic cardiovascular risk factors. Eur J Clin Nutr 55 (2001)