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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Red wine aid to circulation?
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997

In <> Duncan Crowther
<> writes:

>I've heard that drinking a glass of red wine a day may have a beneficial
>effect on the cardiovascular system. Does anyone know if there is any
>merit in this?
>If so, is it simply the effect of the alcohol or is there something else
>in red wine which has an influence?

   It's both.   Giving diluted alcohol and nothing else to rabbit
models of atherosclerosis causes fewer plaques.  But on the other hand,
red wine has an extra large effect.  Epidemiologic studies also show
this: beer and whiskey are pretty neutral, but red wine correlates
strongly with decreased cardiovascular risk.  White wine also, but
less.  It's probably the bioflavonoids, which are the stuff in the
wines that makes them red (anthocyanins) that does it.  Bioflavonoids
also some proanthocyanidins, which are not colored, but come from the
same sources as the color.  Bioflavonoids inhibit platelet aggregation,
which is an important step in atherogenesis.  That's the presumed
mechanism, but nobody knows for sure yet.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Benefits of Red Wine
Date: Mon, 04 Aug 1997

In <>
(DCardar112) writes:

>I understand that red wine has many benefits regarding arteries and the
>heart.  I recently picked up that 100% red grape juice (such as Welch's
>100% grape juice) has the same or similar benefits.
>I would like any discussions on this as well as how much of each should
>be taken daily for any benefits.
>Thanks, Dave C.

   It doesn't have the same or similar benefits, since the alcohol
contributes to the protective effect of wine.  And grape juice has only
about half the bioflavonoid content.

   For people who cannot drink alcohol, 10 oz of 100% grape juice will
give you about the same bioflavonoid dose as 5 oz of red wine (approx
the daily amount associated with the best heart protective effects),
but don't expect it to do quite the same job.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: atrial fib update
Date: 8 Jan 1999 04:30:40 GMT

In <> Terri <> writes:

>Andrew Chung wrote:
>> wrote:
>> > ...the toxic effects of the breakdown
>> > products of alcohol (formaldihyde) on the heart muscle...
>> Ethanol is cardiotoxic (and hepatotoxic and neurotoxic...) in and of
>> itself.
>Dr Chung,If alcohol is  cardiotoxic why is being pushed as being beneficial
>in preventing MI's? Does the vascular benefit outweigh the cardiotoxic risk?

   In some cases, apparently it does.  They are different effects with
different thresholds.   But the alcohol does contribute, as suggested
in animal studies of atherosclerosis using ethanol in water with no
other flavoring or excipients.

   Red wine is epidemiologically by far the most effective kind of
alcoholic drink, presumably because of the red bioflavonoids which give
the stuff its color (anthocyanins, etc).  I suspect these have a an
antiplatelet effect, since epidemiology has recently shown that even
one drink of wine a WEEK has an effect which is a significant size of
the maximum benefit (which also occurs up to about one drink a day).

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: Red wine / Alcohol
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 16:46:38 -0700
Message-ID: <a4s468$cln$>

"Martin Banschbach PhD" <> wrote in message
> > Are there nutrients or combinations thereof or antioxidants that would
> > have a similar "health" benefit as is claimed or stated for moderate
> > alcohol?
> For HDL, nicotinic acid is going to do a much better job of raising the
> good HDL than alcohol does (even with the wine bioflavinoids).

Yes, agree.

> I know that there has been some discussion (in smn) of what happens if
> you take red wine and boil it to remove the ethanol.  To be honest, I
> don't know if that destroys some of the action of the wine.

Ethanol by itself has some interruptive effects on cardiovascular disease in
animal models for it, so I suspect that it does also in humans. However,
when you try to see it epidemiologically it doesn't show up for beer (which
is a wash) and is acutally negative for whisky. I conclude that perhaps
these have some bad stuff which makes up for the ethanol. It does show up
for white wines, so my guess is it's not just the red stuff there, but the
alcohol as well. But it's hard to tell.  What we need is some good stats
from vodka drinkers.

There's no doubt the red stuff in red wine is part of the good stuff, and
perhaps most of it. And you can get the same from grape juice (you just have
to drink twice as much).  Grape juice drinking is a good gambit for
alcoholics or those with that in their history, or who can't drink ethanol
for health, social, or religious reasons. If 12 oz of grape juice is too
much, they make "lite" (no sugar added) liquid grape juice extract in cans,
which can be drunk straight instead of dilute. It's potent, and no doubt
somewhere about the same as wine. Or better.

> I'm sure that many alcoholics abuse wine but the impression that I get is
> that beer and hard liquor are the preferred forms, wine, if it is used is
> going to usually be a port with as high an alcohol content as possible.

I think they mix in sugar to make port, not alcohol. In any case, cheap wine
(not port) by the jug is the cheapest ethanol per dollar, so really poor
alcoholics, and really cheap physicians, tend to gravitate to that


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: Red wine / Alcohol
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 16:58:39 -0700
Message-ID: <a4s657$5ii$>

"DRCEEPHD" <> wrote in message
> >Subject: Re: Red wine / Alcohol
> >From: "Martin Banschbach PhD"
> >Date: 2/18/02 4:47 PM Central Standard Time
> >Message-id: <a4ruea$>
> >During fermentation, chemicals are going to come out of the seeds and
> >skin that will not apparently come out when grapes are pressed to
> >produce juice.
> Uhmmm, a comment.
> Wine is usually made from the liquid that comes from pressing the
> grapes. The seeds and skins are discarded.
> How then can the absent seeds and skin impart chemicals?

They aren't discarded immediately, for some wines. The longer they're left,
the more polyphenols you get.

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