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Wine In Moderation
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Atherosclerosis amelioration by moderate alcohol consumption
is associated with increased circulating levels
of stromal cell-derived factor-1.

Gil-Bernabe P, Boveda-Ruiz D, D'Alessandro-Gabazza C, Toda M, Miyake Y, Mifuji-Moroka R, Iwasa M, Morser J, Gabazza EC, Takei Y.

Epub, 2011 July

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan.

A moderate intake of alcohol is associated with lower cardiovascular mortality, and the role of circulating progenitor cells in the beneficial effect of alcohol on atherosclerosis is unclear. The hypothesis of this study was that alcohol ameliorates atherosclerosis by modulating the circulating levels of stromal cell-derived growth factor (SDF)-1 and vascular progenitor cells.

Methods and Results
Atherosclerosis was induced by infusion of angiotensin II in apolipoprotein-E deficient mice, which were treated with high and low doses of ethanol for 28 days by intraperitoneal injection. Mice treated with low-dose ethanol had significantly less dilatation and fewer atheromatous lesions than mice receiving the high-dose ethanol. The number of circulating fibrocytes was significantly lower in mice treated with high-dose ethanol compared with mice with atherosclerosis untreated with ethanol. The plasma CXCL12/SDF-1 level was significantly increased in mice treated with low-dose ethanol compared with mice treated with a high dose, and the plasma concentration of transforming growth factor-β1 was significantly increased in mice treated with high-dose ethanol compared with control mice. Ethanol regulated the secretion of SDF-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor from fibroblasts in a dose-dependent and bimodal fashion.


Alcohol Consumption and Risk of All-Cause
and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men

Erin K. Howie, Xuemei Sui, Duck-chul Lee, Steven P. Hooker, James R. Hébert, and Steven N. Blair

Journal of Aging Research, 2011 May

This study examined the association between consumption of alcoholic beverages and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in a cohort of men (n = 31,367). In the Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for age, year of examination, body mass index (BMI), smoking, family history of CVD, and aerobic fitness, there were no significant differences in risk of all-cause mortality across alcohol intake groups. Risk of CVD mortality was reduced 29% in quartile 1 (HR = 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.53, 0.95) and 25% in quartile 2 (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.58, 0.98). The amount of alcohol consumed to achieve this risk reduction was <6 drinks/week; less than the amount currently recommended. The addition of other potential confounders and effect modifiers including blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, and psychological variables did not affect the magnitude of association. Future research is needed to validate the current public health recommendations for alcohol consumption.


Wine and Health: A Review / Il vino e la salute

Jacquelyn M. Guilford and John M. Pezzuto

American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 2011

As indicated by epidemiological studies, regular and moderate wine consumption, particularly red wine, has been associated with health benefits. Clinical studies and work performed with animal models indicate that wine may protect against cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and metabolic syndrome. The mechanism of action has been attributed to antioxidant, lipid regulating, and anti-inflammatory effects. A variety of wine constituents have been studied in various disease models. Both the alcoholic and polyphenolic components of wine are believed to contribute to these beneficial effects. As wine is a complex mixture, it is likely that a multitude of chemical constituents, as well as their metabolites, work synergistically to impact human health. In sum, although wine drinking may be contraindicated in certain individuals, in healthy people, regular consumption of moderate amounts of wine may protect against certain chronic health conditions.

Molti studi epidemiologici dimostrano che il consumo regolare e moderato di vino, in particolare di vino rosso, si associa a benefici per la salute. Ricerche condotte nell’uomo e in vari modelli animali indicano che il vino può prevenire la comparsa di alcune malattie cardiovascolari e ridurre il rischio di arteriosclerosi, di ipertensione, di alcuni tipi di cancro, di diabete tipo II e della sindrome metabolica. Il meccanismo d’azione è stato attribuito ad un effetto antiossidante e antiinfiammatorio ed alla capacità di regolazione del profilo lipidico nel sangue (soprattutto del colesterolo). Molti composti presenti nel vino sono stati studiati in diverse condizioni di malattia e sia la componente alcolica che vari polifenoli del vino intervengono nel favorire questi effetti benefici. Poiché il vino è un mix complesso di molte sostanze biologicamente attive, è verosimile che un insieme di composti chimici e dei loro metaboliti operino sinergicamente per favorire processi salutistici nell’uomo.


Association of alcohol consumption
with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes:
a systematic review and meta-analysis

Paul E Ronksley, doctoral student, Susan E Brien, post-doctoral fellow, Barbara J Turner, professor of medicine and director, Kenneth J Mukama, associate professor of medicine, William A Ghali, scientific director and professor

BMJ, 2010 December

To conduct a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of studies assessing the effect of alcohol consumption on multiple cardiovascular outcomes.

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources
A search of Medline (1950 through September 2009) and Embase (1980 through September 2009) supplemented by manual searches of bibliographies and conference proceedings.

Inclusion criteria
Prospective cohort studies on the association between alcohol consumption and overall mortality from cardiovascular disease, incidence of and mortality from coronary heart disease, and incidence of and mortality from stroke.

Studies reviewed
Of 4235 studies reviewed for eligibility, quality, and data extraction, 84 were included in the final analysis.

The pooled adjusted relative risks for alcohol drinkers relative to non-drinkers in random effects models for the outcomes of interest were 0.75 (95% confidence interval 0.70 to 0.80) for cardiovascular disease mortality (21 studies), 0.71 (0.66 to 0.77) for incident coronary heart disease (29 studies), 0.75 (0.68 to 0.81) for coronary heart disease mortality (31 studies), 0.98 (0.91 to 1.06) for incident stroke (17 studies), and 1.06 (0.91 to 1.23) for stroke mortality (10 studies). Dose-response analysis revealed that the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1–2 drinks a day, but for stroke mortality it occurred with ≤1 drink per day. Secondary analysis of mortality from all causes showed lower risk for drinkers compared with non-drinkers (relative risk 0.87 (0.83 to 0.92)).

Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of multiple cardiovascular outcomes.