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Life Sci. 1996;59(1):PL15-21.

Resveratrol promotes atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

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Department of Veterinary Physiology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


The hypothesis was tested that resveratrol, a compound in red wine, would inhibit atherosclerotic development in rabbits fed 0.5% cholesterol for 60 days. Rabbits were supplemented with or without oral resveratrol. During the study, body weights and food consumption were similar for the two groups. The lack of differences between liver weights and a series of serum parameters indicative of liver disease suggest that liver function was similar in the two groups. The diet produced hypercholesterolemia in both groups, but no differences in lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations. The electrophoretic mobility of plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and plasma LDL after induced oxidation also was not different between the groups. Staining of atherosclerotic lesions in the control and resveratrol-treated groups revealed that the resveratrol-treated rabbits had significantly more aortic surface area covered by atherosclerotic lesions (P < 0.02). Therefore, resveratrol promoted atherosclerotic development, rather than protect against it, by a mechanism that is independent of observed differences in gross animal health, liver function, plasma cholesterol concentrations, or LDL oxidative status.

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