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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):326-34. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.022889. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Differential effects of polyphenols and alcohol of red wine on the expression of adhesion molecules and inflammatory cytokines related to atherosclerosis: a randomized clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;95(6):1506.



Few clinical studies have focused on the alcohol-independent cardiovascular effects of the phenolic compounds of red wine (RW).


We aimed to evaluate the effects of ethanol and phenolic compounds of RW on the expression of inflammatory biomarkers related to atherosclerosis in subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease.


Sixty-seven high-risk, male volunteers were included in a randomized, crossover consumption trial. After a washout period, all subjects received RW (30 g alcohol/d), the equivalent amount of dealcoholized red wine (DRW), or gin (30 g alcohol/d) for 4 wk. Before and after each intervention period, 7 cellular and 18 serum inflammatory biomarkers were evaluated.


Alcohol increased IL-10 and decreased macrophage-derived chemokine concentrations, whereas the phenolic compounds of RW decreased serum concentrations of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, E-selectin, and IL-6 and inhibited the expression of lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 in T lymphocytes and macrophage-1 receptor, Sialil-Lewis X, and C-C chemokine receptor type 2 expression in monocytes. Both ethanol and phenolic compounds of RW downregulated serum concentrations of CD40 antigen, CD40 ligand, IL-16, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.


The results suggest that the phenolic content of RW may modulate leukocyte adhesion molecules, whereas both ethanol and polyphenols of RW may modulate soluble inflammatory mediators in high-risk patients. The trial was registered in the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Register at as ISRCTN88720134.

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