Red wine may block a chemical that constricts blood vessels.
Red wine may suppress one of the main chemical culprits in heart disease
Indulging in a little fine Cabernet Sauvignon this Christmas could well do you good. Red wine blocks a cellular compound thought to be a key factor in heart disease, a new study finds1, bolstering claims that red wine carries more health benefits than other alcoholic beverages.
The finding may help explain why the French, who often drink red wine with meals, appear to have a lower risk of heart disease than people in Britain despite eating a similar amount of saturated fat - a phenomenon known as the ’French paradox’.
The study suggests that non-alcoholic extracts from red wine inhibit the formation of endothelin-1, a chemical that makes blood vessels constrict. Compounds that block endothelin-1 may reduce the formation of fatty streaks in blood vessels and decrease heart attack risks.
White and rosé© wines had no effect on the production of endothelin-1. This implies that the active ingredients are polyphenols - compounds from grape skins found only in red wines.
Uncovering this mechanism gives researchers a way to calculate the amount of red wine that provides the greatest benefit, says Roger Corder of Queen Mary University of London, a member of the team that performed the study. "If you can measure endothelin synthesis in volunteers after consumption of red wine, you can establish the ideal quantity to consume," he says.
The study was performed on cultured cow heart cells. More research is needed to understand whether the mechanism is important in humans, cautions David Webb, who studies endothelin at the University of Edinburgh.
But, he adds, the study found that even very small amounts of red wine extracts - well within the quantities that a moderate drinker would consume - have a powerful impact on endothelin production. "The potency suggests it might be a real effect in humans," he says.
Heart of the matter
The health benefits of wine have also been attributed to the antioxidant effects of polyphenols. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, are thought to reduce the formation of fatty plaques in blood vessels.
But recent large-scale epidemiological studies have failed to find health benefits from antioxidants. Says Corder: "I think there has been an unnecessary emphasis on antioxidants in red wine."
There is also evidence that red wine dilates blood vessels and stops red blood cells from clumping. These effects may be independent, or they may be a consequence of the newly discovered suppression of endothelin-1, Webb says. "It may be that this is not just another contributory benefit but the heart of the process."
ERICA KLARREICH | © Nature News Service
Kommunikation ist alles – auch im Immunsystem
28.11.2017 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
Wie der Stoffwechsel im Zellkern (Krebs-)Gene kontrolliert
28.11.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Physiker aus Konstanz, Princeton und Maryland schaffen ein stabiles Quantengatter als Grundelement für den Quantencomputer
Meilenstein auf dem Weg zum Quantencomputer: Wissenschaftler der Universität Konstanz, der Princeton University sowie der University of Maryland entwickeln ein...
Mit neuartigen Experimenten enträtseln Forscher des Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht und der Technischen Universität Hamburg, warum winzige Metallstrukturen extrem fest sind
Ultraleichte und zugleich extrem feste Werkstoffe – poröse Nanomaterialien aus Metall versprechen hochinteressante Anwendungen unter anderem für künftige...
Gezielt Photonen erzeugen und ihren Weg kontrollieren: Das sollte mit einem neuen Design gelingen, das Würzburger Physiker für optische Antennen erarbeitet haben.
Atome und Moleküle können dazu gebracht werden, Lichtteilchen (Photonen) auszusenden. Dieser Vorgang verläuft aber ohne äußeren Eingriff ineffizient und...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
08.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen
07.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen
05.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen
08.12.2017 | Unternehmensmeldung
08.12.2017 | Unternehmensmeldung
08.12.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie