Red wine is accountable for such trends because it is consumed in the highest abundance in France, and it was first thought that the alcoholic (ethanol) components were responsible for such findings. Recent studies have focused more specifically on red wine because it holds a special group of natural ingredients found in grapes called, polyphenols.2 These are not found in other beverages containing the same ethanol components. While they have been known to be beneficial in their antioxidant abilities which reduce premature aging and disease, many studies have tried to target one specific polyphenol, mainly catechin, as being responsible for driving mechanisms that reduce risk factors for disease, especially CHD.3 With respect to the ‘French paradox’, the question remains, is catechin primarily responsible for the mechanisms involved in reducing CHD or do they collectively contribute aiding CHD health?
In many studies, polyphenols have been found to have antioxidant properties that participate in two mechanisms associated with risk factors for CHD. They contribute to reducing heart disease by preventing a chemical reaction (oxidation) of bad cholesterol (LDL), which stops forma...
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...nthesis by cultured endothelial cells; Clinical Science: 2002. 103: 72-75.
10. Faustino RS., Sobrattee S., Edel, AL., Pierce GN., Comparative analysis of the phenolic content of selected Chilean, Canadian, and American Merlot red wines. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; 2003 Jul; 249(1-2):11-9
11. Huxley RR, and Neil HAW. The relation between dietary flavonol intake and coronary heart disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003; 57: 904-908.
12. Guiliano, Mireille. French Women Don’t Get Fat New York, 2005.
13. Mezzano, Leighton F, Strobel P, Martinez C, Marshall G, Cuevas A, Castillo O, Panes O, Munoz B, Rozowski J, and Periera J. Mediterranean diet, but not red wine, is associated with beneficial changes in primary haemostasis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003; 57: 439-446.
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