Chapter 13

Wine and Health

P. -L. Teissedre


The results of epidemiological cohort studies show the separate influence of a moderate consumption for different types of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, spirits) and their effects on coronary heart diseases, with a superior protective effect for wine. Wine possesses specificity due to the phenolic antioxidants (flavonoids and non-flavonoids). Several ways for metabolism and polyphenol excretion of wine are eligible. Moderate wine consumption can lead to decreased platelet aggregation and vasodilatation. Physiological effects derived from the nutritional consumption of wine polyphenol extracts, ethanol or their possible synergistic combination may lead to a prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes or hypertension. This synergy permits: </p><p> • In the case of atherosclerosis, a decrease in the fatty streak area and cholesterolemia, and an increased level in specific antioxidant enzymes active against free radicals, </p><p> • To restore the antioxidant capacity of plasma, thus allowing for an improvement of the defences against oxidative stress of diabetes and a favourable action on insulin secretion, to normalise the systolic pressure, and a high reduction of cardiac hypertrophy, as well as free radical generation to the thoracic aorta and heart tissues in the case of hypertension. Wine can play a role in preventive nutrition, when its regular and daily consumption with moderation is added to the diet.

Total Pages: 269-285 (17)

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