Cardioprotection of red wine: role of polyphenolic antioxidants

Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1999;25(2-3):115-20.


Epidemiological studies suggest that the consumption of wine, particularly of red wine, reduces the incidence of mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease. This has given rise to what is now popularly termed the "French paradox". The cardioprotective effect has been attributed to antioxidants present in the polyphenol fraction of red wine. Grapes contain a variety of antioxidants, including resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins. Of these, resveratrol is present mainly in grape skin while proanthocyanidin is present in the seeds. In this report, we provide evidence that red wine extract as well as resveratrol and proanthocyanidins are equally effective in reducing myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury, which suggests that these red wine polyphenolic antioxidants play a crucial role in cardioprotection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Flavonoids*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Wine / analysis*


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Polymers
  • Polyphenols
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol