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J Nutr. 2001 May;131(5):1401-4.

Alcohol, red wine and cardiovascular disease.

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School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, Canada.


The objective of this article is to review the existing literature concerning the effects and mechanisms of action of red wine consumption vs. other alcoholic beverages on the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Of particular interest is the form and quantity of alcohol consumed. This relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality is well supported by epidemiologic studies, which have suggested that different forms of alcohol alter the relative risk values for mortality from CVD. Although not without exception, current evidence from epidemiologic and experimental studies suggests a protective effect against the development of CVD with moderate consumption of red wine. The exact nature of the protective effect remains to be established. However, mechanisms including LDL oxidation and alterations in hemostatic variables are being increasingly recognized as contributory. Key components of red wine thought to be responsible for the protective effects include phenolic compounds and alcohol content. Despite the research presented, some questions relating to the current recommendations regarding moderate alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health remain. However, collectively, the literature aids in understanding some of the ways in which alcoholic beverages and their components affect the health of our population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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