Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nonlinearity Biol Toxicol Med. 2004 Oct;2(4):353-70. doi: 10.1080/15401420490900272.

Alcohol: Friend or Foe? Alcoholic Beverage Hormesis for Cataract and Atherosclerosis is Related to Plasma Antioxidant Activity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C1.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To correlate the oxidative state of postabsorptive blood plasma after consumption of one or three drinks of different beverages with known J-shaped epidemiological risk curves.

DESIGN, INTERVENTIONS, AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Red wine, lager beer, stout (alcoholic and alcohol-free), with antioxidant activity, and an aqueous solution of alcohol were compared for the plasma antioxidant or pro-oxidant activity in human volunteers following consumption of one or three typical drinks containing equivalent amounts of alcohol (except for an alcohol-free stout used as a control for stout).

RESULTS:

One drink of red wine, lager beer, or stout (5% alcohol v/v, and alcohol-free) significantly increased the average antioxidant activity in plasma samples obtained from volunteers averaged over 240 min. Three drinks of red wine, lager beer, or stout (5% alcohol v/v, and alcohol-free) significantly increased the average pro-oxidant activity in plasma samples obtained from volunteers averaged over 360 min. For a solution of alcohol, three drinks resulted in pro-oxidant plasma on average, whereas while one drink did not significantly affect the plasma oxidative status. A preliminary experiment in which two volunteers showed a significantly increased time to metabolize ethanol after ingestion resulted in elevated antioxidant activity in plasma for lager beer and red wine.

CONCLUSIONS:

One drink of red wine, beer, or stout provided equivalent increases in plasma antioxidant activity. Three drinks of red wine, beer, or stout provided equivalent increases in plasma pro-oxidant activity. This may explain, at least in part, the decreased risk of cataract and atherosclerosis from daily consumption of one drink of different types of alcoholic beverages as well as the increased risk from daily consumption of three drinks of alcoholic beverages. The plasma pro-oxidant activity appears to be due to ethanol metabolism, whereas the antioxidant activity may be due to the absorption of polyphenols in the beverages.

KEYWORDS:

alcoholic beverages; atherosclerosis; cataract; hormesis; ingestion; plasma antioxidant activity; polyphenols; risk reduction

PMID:
19330151
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2657506
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk