It's the Resveratrol in the Red Wine that lowers the risk of developing coronary heart disease

September 09, 2005

Moderately consuming red wine is associated with a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD). In this study rabbits were split into five groups. One group was fed a regular diet, the second group was fed a high cholesterol diet, the next three groups were fed the same high cholesterol diet but were put on different Resveratrol supplements: Resveratrol with water, Resveratrol in Red Wine, or Resveratrol in alcohol free Red Wine - all for 12 weeks. The amount of Resveratrol was similar in all three supplements. This was to assess if it was the alcohol, Resveratrol, or Resveratrol plus alcohol that gave the cardio-protection. The animals on the high cholesterol diets had significant increases in their LDL-cholesterol levels compared to those fed a regular diet. The thoracic aorta artery had clearly visible atherosclerotic lesions in the high cholesterol diet animals, however, the size, density, and average area of atherosclerotic plaques, and the thickness of the intima media layer was significantly reduced with all three Resveratrol or Resveratrol plus wine supplements. Rabbits on the high cholesterol diet had a reduction in decreased endothelial function of the blood vessel walls with a 25% reduction in flow-mediated dilation, and the Resveratrol supplements prevented this decrease in blood vessel function and dilation. The Resveratrol and polyphenolics in red wine, rather than the alcohol, suffice in providing cardiovascular-protective effects. The study is published in the October 2005 issue of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Ergothioneine is an antioxidant that I have been following for some time but until now there hasn't been a satisfactory source of this wonderful nutrient. It is a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes hydroxyl and peroxynitrate free radicals, blocks mutagen formation, increases the rate of detoxification in the liver, helps protect the skin from the suns ultraviolet radiation, protects the mitochondria, and lowers the risk of developing cataracts.

More evidence that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA may help prevent and fight Alzheimer's disease

In the brain of someone with Alzheimer's disease there are tangles of twisted fibers and clumps of proteins along with massive levels of free radical production and also signs of inflammation. These protein clumps based on beta-amyloid protein are connected to brain nerve cell death, the hallmark of this disease. This leads to personality changes, severe progressive memory loss and eventually death.

DHA is an omega-3 fat found in ocean going fish and seafood. Researchers at Louisiana State University's Neuroscience center of Excellence found that DHA helped brain cells in two ways:

1) Inhibiting the production of beta-amyloid proteins, the protein found in Alzheimer's brain plaques

2) Boosting the production of a protein known as NPD1. This protein protects brain cells and helps them stay alive.

The study is published in the September 8th, 2005 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: for more information on DHA and Alzheimer's disease see our radio studies for March 24th, 2005.