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Antioxidants in Red Wine Linked to Improved Vascular Health

There is a natural decline in vascular function as you age but a recent study shows that supplementation with polyphenol antioxidants found in red wine, may significantly slow that decline.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Strasbourg in France and their findings were published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

For the study, the researchers divided male Wistar rats into four groups. Group 1 received 3% ethanol (control); groups 2 and 3 received 25 or 75 mg of red wine polyphenols and the final group received the polyphneols and NADPH oxidase apocynin at 100 mg/kg/day.

Apocynin is a naturally organic compound that inhibits NADPH oxidase activity. This makes it effective in preventing the production of superoxide, which has been linked to the aging process.

The study began when the rats were 16 weeks of age and continued until they were aged 40 weeks.

The researchers found that both the red wine group and the apocynin group had significantly lower levels of aging-induced vascular oxidative stress.

The researchers also measured physical performance using a treadmill. They found that the group given the highest dose of polyphenols and the group given the apocynin significantly outperformed the other rats. The control animals had an endurance capacity of six minutes, while the high dose group had a capacity of 9.9 minutes. The rats who received the polyphenols and the apocynin had a capacity of 10.9 minutes.

Red wine has also been linked to improved heart health, help with weight loss and possible extension of life expectancy. Of course, it is important not to get carried away as the negative effects of heavy drinking can quickly outweigh the potential benefits. If you are worried about the health risks of consuming too much alcohol, supplements containing red wine polyphenols are a good option.

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