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Mutagenesis. 2003 Mar;18(2):119-26.

The principal phenolic and alcoholic components of wine protect human lymphocytes against hydrogen peroxide- and ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage in vitro.

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CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition, PO Box 10041, Adelaide BC, South Australia 5000, Australia.


We have tested the hypothesis that the alcoholic and phenolic components of wine are protective against the DNA-damaging and cytotoxic effects of hydrogen peroxide and gamma-radiation in vitro. The components of wine tested were ethanol, glycerol, a mixture of the phenolic compounds catechin and caffeic acid and tartaric acid, all at concentrations that were 2.5 or 10.0% of the concentration in a typical Australian white wine (Riesling). These components were tested individually or combined as a mixture and compared to a white wine stripped of polyphenols, as well as a Hanks balanced salt solution control, which was the diluent for the wine components. The effect of the components was tested in lymphocytes, using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay, after 30 min incubation in plasma or whole blood for the hydrogen peroxide or gamma-radiation challenge, respectively. The results obtained showed that ethanol, glycerol, the catechin-caffeic acid mixture, the mixture of all components and the stripped white wine significantly reduced the DNA-damaging effects of hydrogen peroxide and gamma-radiation (P = 0.043-0.001, ANOVA). The strongest protective effect against DNA damage by gamma-irradiation was observed for the catechin-caffeic acid mixture and the mixture of all components (30 and 32% reduction, respectively). These two treatments as well as ethanol produced the strongest protective effects against DNA damage by hydrogen peroxide (24, 25 and 18%, respectively). The protection provided by the mixture did not account for the expected additive protective effects of the individual components. Ethanol was the only component that significantly increased baseline DNA damage rate, however, this effect was negated in the mixture. In conclusion, our results suggest that the main phenolic and alcoholic components of wine can reduce the DNA-damaging effects of two important oxidants, i.e. hydrogen peroxide and ionizing radiation, in this physiologically relevant in vitro system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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