Modulation of endogenous antioxidant system by wine polyphenols in human disease
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Numerous studies indicate that moderate red wine consumption is associated with a protective effect against all-cause mortality. Since oxidative stress constitutes a unifying mechanism of injury of many types of disease processes, it should be expected that polyphenolic antioxidants account for this beneficial effect. Nevertheless, beyond the well-known antioxidant properties of these compounds, they may exert several other protective mechanisms. Indeed, the overall protective effect of polyphenols is due to their large array of biological actions, such as free radical-scavenging, metal chelation, enzyme modulation, cell signalling pathways modulation and gene expression effects, among others. Wine possesses a variety of polyphenols, being resveratrol its most outstanding representative, due to its pleiotropic biological properties. The presence of ethanol in wine aids to polyphenol absorption, thereby contributing to their bioavailability. Before absorption, polyphenols must be hydrolyzed by intestinal enzymes or by colonic microflora. Then, they undergo intestinal and liver metabolism. There have been no reported polyphenol adverse effects derived from intakes currently associated with the normal diet. However, supplements for health-protection should be cautiously used as no level definition has been given to make sure the dose is safe. The role of oxidative stress and the beneficial effects of wine polyphenols against cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, microbial, inflammatory, neurodegenerative and kidney diseases and ageing are reviewed. Future large scale randomized clinical trials should be conducted to fully establish the therapeutic use of each individual wine polyphenol against human disease.
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