Moderate wine intake has been associated with low risk for cardiovascular disease, possibly due to its polyphenol content. We investigated the influence of these compounds on peroxidative indices of blood. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups given the same AIN-76 diet but different types of isocaloric beverage: red wine, alcohol and dealcoholated wine and water with added sucrose. Rats consumed about 35 ml day(-1) of beverage and 17 g day(-1) of diet for a total of about 95 kcal day(-1). Plasma alpha-tocopherol was higher in the alcohol group and the peroxidation kinetic slope was higher in the control and dealcoholated wine groups. Ascorbic acid in whole blood was higher in the alcohol group than the others. Erythrocytic glutathione peroxidase activity was lower in the red wine group. The other variables studied, were not significantly different in the four groups. Despite the significant differences observed, the oxidative status of blood does not appear seriously altered by heavy ingestion of wine and thus of polyphenols. Probably the balanced diet and adequate intake of micronutrients were sufficient to counteract any oxidative damage.
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