Wine only protects against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people who exercise, according to new research from the Czech Republic.
The researchers stated this is the first randomized trial comparing the effects of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis in people at mild to moderate risk of CVD. Moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised. What’s more, red and white wine produced the same results.
Evidence suggesting that mild to moderate consumption of wine protects against cardiovascular disease has been accumulating since the early 1990s. In particular, studies have found that wine increases levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. But until now there has been no long-term randomized study comparing the effects of red and white wine on HDL cholesterol and other markers of atherosclerosis.
This new long-term trial included 146 people with mild to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. Participants were assigned to one year of moderate consumption of red wine (Pinot Noir) or white wine (Chardonnay-Pinot) from the same year and wine region of the Czech Republic. Moderate consumption was defined of 0.2 L for women and 0.3 L for men, a maximum of five times a week. Participants consumed their usual diet and kept a logbook on their consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages, medication use, and amount and type of exercise.
The researchers found that there was no difference between HDL cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study compared to one year in either the red or white wine groups. LDL cholesterol was lower in both groups at one year while total cholesterol was lower only in the red wine group.
A rise in HDL cholesterol is the main indication of a protective effect against CVD, therefore the research team could not conclude that neither red or white wine had any impact on study participants overall.
The only positive result was in the group of patients exercised more, which means regular exercise at least twice a week, plus the wine consumption. In this group, HDL cholesterol increased and LDL and total cholesterol decreased in the
red and white wine groups.."
The researchers noted that in a future study they will compare the effects of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis in people at high risk for CVD who take statins and do regular exercise. They hope to find that moderate wine consumption is safe in these people.
The current study shows that the combination of moderate wine drinking plus regular exercise improves markers of atherosclerosis, suggesting that this combination is protective against cardiovascular disease."
Source: European Society of Cardiology.
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