A glass of wine a day can keep heart healthy

December 5th, 2008 - 11:55 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 5 (ANI): Just one glass of wine can help boost omega 3 fatty acids, and protect people against coronary heart disease, says a new study.

The European study called IMMIDIET has found that moderate alcohol drinking acts like a ”trigger”, boosting the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in our body.

“Several studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption, including wine, is associated with protection against coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, said Romina di Giuseppe, lead author of the study, from the Research Laboratories at Catholic University of Campobasso

Although the mechanisms are not completely defined, there was some evidence that alcohol intake might influence the metabolism of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, as omega-3.

That is exactly what we found in our population study. People drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, one drink a day for women and two for men, had higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells independently of their fish intake,” he added.

The IMMIDIET study examined 1,604 citizens from three geographical areas: south-west London in England, Limburg in Belgium and Abruzzo in Italy.

The research team from Catholic University of Campobasso, in Italy, and from University of Grenoble, in France, turned their attention on the variety of alcoholic beverages consumed in order to see whether the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids detected might be ascribed to alcohol itself or to other substances.

“Analysis carried out on different alcoholic beverages showed that the association between alcohol and omega-3 fatty acids was present in both wine drinkers and beer or spirits drinkers, said Licia Iacoviello coordinator of the IMMIDIET study at Catholic University of Campobasso.

However, the association was stronger between wine drinking and omega-3 fatty acids levels. This suggests that components of wine other than alcohol is associated with omega-3 fatty acids concentration. We may guess this effect can be ascribed to polyphenols,” Iacoviello added.

Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds contained in a different variety of food and beverages, such as wine. Due to their strong antioxidant activity, they are able to reduce oxidation processes caused by free radicals.

The study will be published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, an official publication of the American Society for Nutrition. (ANI)

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