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Wine In Moderation
"Nunc vino pellite curas (Ora allontanate gli affanni con il vino)"
Quinto Orazio Flacco,
65 a.C. » 8 a.C.

Wine, Beer, Alcohol and Polyphenols
on Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.


Sara Arranz, Gemma Chiva-Blanch, Palmira Valderas-Martínez, Alex Medina-Remón, Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós and Ramón Estruch


Nutrients, 2012 July



Since ancient times, people have attributed a variety of health benefits to moderate consumption of fermented beverages such as wine and beer, often without any scientific basis. There is evidence that excessive or binge alcohol consumption is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, as well as with work related and traffic accidents. On the contrary, at the moment, several epidemiological studies have suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces overall mortality, mainly from coronary diseases. However, there are discrepancies regarding the specific effects of different types of beverages (wine, beer and spirits) on the cardiovascular system and cancer, and also whether the possible protective effects of alcoholic beverages are due to their alcoholic content (ethanol) or to their non-alcoholic components (mainly polyphenols). Epidemiological and clinical studies have pointed out that regular and moderate wine consumption (one to two glasses a day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovarian, and prostate carcinoma. Moderate beer consumption has also been associated with these effects, but to a lesser degree, probably because of beer’s lower phenolic content. These health benefits have mainly been attributed to an increase in antioxidant capacity, changes in lipid profiles, and the anti-inflammatory effects produced by these alcoholic beverages. This review summarizes the main protective effects on the cardiovascular system and cancer resulting from moderate wine and beer intake due mainly to their common components, alcohol and polyphenols.

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A meta-analysis on alcohol drinking and the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Alcol e rischio di linfoma di Hodgkin.


Tramacere I, Pelucchi C, Bonifazi M, Bagnardi V, Rota M, Bellocco R, Scotti L, Islami F, Corrao G, Boffetta P, La Vecchia C, Negri E


European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2012 May



The role of alcohol intake in the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is still largely unclear. To summarize the evidence on the issue, we carried out a meta-analysis of the available studies. We identified eight case–control and two cohort studies, including a total of 1488 cases of HL. We derived meta-analytic estimates using random-effects models, taking into account the correlation between estimates, and carried out a dose–risk analysis using nonlinear random-effects metaregression models. Compared with nondrinkers, the relative risk for alcohol consumers was 0.70 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.60–0.81] overall, 0.66 (95% CI, 0.56–0.78) among case–control, and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.63–1.33) among cohort studies. Compared with nondrinkers, the pooled relative risks were 0.71 (95% CI, 0.57–0.89) for light (i.e. ≤1 drink/day) and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.60–0.87) for moderate-to-heavy (i.e. >1 drink/day) alcohol drinking. This meta-analysis suggests a favourable effect of alcohol on HL, in the absence, however, of a dose–risk relationship. The inverse association was restricted to – or greater in – case–control as compared with cohort studies. This indicates caution in the interpretation of results.



Di recente pubblicazione (gennaio 2012) è uno studio sull’effetto favorevole dell’alcol nella riduzione del rischio di comparsa di un particolare tipo di tumore: il Linfoma di Hodgkin. La ricerca è stata condotta mediante analisi statistica di 10 pubblicazioni internazionali contenenti dati su questo problema con il coinvolgimento di 1448 casi di Linfoma di Hodgkin. I risultati dello studio dimostrano una riduzione del 30% del rischio di sviluppare questo tumore nei soggetti che assumono abitualmente bevande alcoliche rispetto a chi è astemio. L’assenza di un effetto correlato alla dose assunta e le differenze osservate nell’analisi di studi di tipologia diversa (studi caso-controllo più favorevoli rispetto agli studi di coorte) impongono cautela nell’interpretazione di queste osservazioni, pur costituendo un dato di rilevante interesse scientifico sulle correlazioni fra alcol e cancro. Questa ricerca scientifica è stata coordinata dal prof. Carlo La Vecchia, docente presso l’Università degli Studi di Milano e membro dell’Osservatorio sul Consumo Consapevole del Vino con sede presso il Castello di Grinzane Cavour (CN).

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Cancer prevention in Europe:
the Mediterranean diet as a protective choice.
Prevenzione dei tumori in Europa:
la dieta mediterranea come scelta protettiva.


Giacosa A, Barale R, Bavaresco L, Gatenby P, Gerbi V, Janssens J, Johnston B, Kas K, La Vecchia C, Mainguet P, Morazzoni P, Negri E, Pelucchi C, Pezzotti M, Rondanelli M.


European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2012 May



In the coming years, European death rates because of cancer will further decline, but the overall number of cases will increase, mostly as a consequence of the ageing of the population. The target for cancer prevention in Europe will remain a healthy diet and control of obesity in addition to a decrease in smoking. A healthy diet model in European countries is the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is based on abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat, low intake of (red) meat and moderate consumption of wine. The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The biological mechanisms for cancer prevention associated with the Mediterranean diet have been related to the favourable effect of a balanced ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 essential fatty acids and high amounts of fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols found in fruit, vegetables, olive oil and wine. The Mediterranean diet also involves a 'Mediterranean way of drinking', that is, regular, moderate consumption of wine mainly with food. This pattern of drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer. However, heavy alcohol drinking is associated with digestive, upper respiratory tract, liver and breast cancers; therefore, avoidance or restriction of alcohol consumption to two drinks/day in men and one drink/day in women is a global public health priority.



Nei prossimi anni in Europa il tasso di mortalità provocato dal cancro diminuirà ulteriormente, ma il numero complessivo di casi aumenterà, in gran parte come conseguenza dell’invecchiamento della popolazione. In Europa l’obiettivo per prevenire i tumori continuerà ad essere una dieta sana, il controllo dell’obesità e la riduzione del consumo di tabacco. Un modello alimentare salutare nei paesi europei è la dieta mediterranea tradizionale, basata su un consumo frequente e vario di frutta e verdura, un consumo abbondante di cereali, di olio di oliva come grasso (aggiunto) principale, una bassa assunzione di carni (rosse) e un consumo moderato di vino. La dieta mediterranea si associa ad un rischio ridotto di malattie cardiovascolari e tumori. I meccanismi biologici per la prevenzione dei tumori legati ad una dieta mediterranea sono stati associati agli effetti benefici di una composizione equilibrata fra acidi grassi essenziali omega 6 e omega 3 e elevate quantità di fibre, antiossidanti e polifenoli presenti nella frutta, verdure, olio d’oliva e vino. La dieta mediterranea comporta anche un “modo di bere mediterraneo”, vale a dire un consumo regolare, moderato di vino soprattutto durante i pasti. Questo modello di bere allunga la vita, riduce il rischio di malattie cardiovascolari e non influenza significativamente il rischio complessivo di sviluppare un tumore. Tuttavia, un consumo elevato di alcol viene associato a tumori dell’intestino, del tratto respiratorio superiore, del fegato e del seno. In conclusione, il non-consumo o una limitazione nell’assunzione di alcol a due bicchieri al giorno per gli uomini e un bicchiere al giorno per le donne rappresenta una priorità globale di salute pubblica.

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Health benefits of wine and alcohol from neuroprotection to heart health.


Vasanthi HR, Parameswari RP, DeLeiris J, Das DK


Frontiers in Bioscience, 2012 January



Controversy is common during efforts to define the role of nutrition in health, but few modern reflections of such controversy are as vivid as the debate over wine. There exists no query that chronic alcohol abuse, a leading worldwide problem, causes neuronal dysfunction and brain damage. However, various epidemiologic studies in recent years have indicated that in comparisons with abstainers or never drinkers, light/moderate alcohol/wine consumers have lower risks of age-dependent cognitive decline and/or dementia, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) Neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and Parkinson's (PD) diseases are defined by a progressive neuronal dysfunction and an ensuing behavioral dysfunction.

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