Red Wine/Resveratrol for Cardiovascular Repair

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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Red Wine/Resveratrol for Cardiovascular Repair
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Healthy adults consuming 8 ounces of wine per day1 (1/3 of a bottle) for 21 consecutive days had significantly higher levels of a key type of cell that helps repair the lining of arteries.

The red wine proanthocyanadins (as in grape seed extract) and/or resveratrol are considered the bioactive components of red wine – for those of you looking for an alternative. This study is interesting because it once again shows the power of a nutrient to help compensate for the weak link in the cardiovascular chain.

There is a lining of cells on the inside of your arteries called endothelial cells. These cells carry on multiple important functions including a major role in the regulation of your blood pressure as well as being seriously injured when plaque is formed. This endothelial lining of your arteries is only one cell thick, meaning that once it is damaged it is vital to repair it so as to not have a weakened lining more prone to plaque formation or other malfunction.

This requires that you need endothelial progenitor cells which come from your bone marrow and migrate to places along your arteries that need repair. Higher levels of endothelial progenitor cells are associated with less cardiovascular disease, reflecting their vital role in maintaining the health of your arteries.

The researchers showed that higher amounts of these endothelial progenitor cells were present in those consuming red wine on a daily basis. This resulted in better function of eNOS, the friendly form of nitric oxide needed to relax your circulation. Red wine also protected the endothelial progenitor cells from damage. The researchers concluded, "Our findings suggest that these effects could be linked to the mechanism of cardiovascular protection that is associated with the regular consumption of red wine."

In an editorial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which published this study as well as the one on resveratrol and fat cells I recently wrote, stated "From these studies it is clear that resveratrol acts both indirectly (through adipose tissue) and directly (through endothelial cells) to prevent cardiovascular disease."

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Red Wine and Cardiovascular Repair  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  Saher Hamed, Jonia Alshiek, Anat Aharon, Benjamin Brenner and Ariel Roguin

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