Background: Levels of anti-oxidant polyphenols are higher in red than in white wine and are thought to contribute to the reduced cardiovascular risk associated with moderate consumption of wine observed in epidemiological studies.
Aim: To compare the acute effects of acute ingestion of white and red wine on endothelial function in subjects with coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: Fourteen subjects with proven CAD were randomised to consume white and red wine with a light meal in a single blind cross-over study. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery was measured using high-resolution ultrasonography. Endothelial function, lipid profile, plasma alcohol and polyphenols were measured at baseline, 60 and 360 min after wine consumption.
Results: At baseline, FMD was similar (white wine 1.6 +/- 1.9%, red wine 1.8 +/- 1.7%). At 360 min after ingestion of wine there was no difference in FMD, which improved nearly threefold after both wines (white wine 4.7 +/- 2.2%, red wine 3.4 +/- 2.9%; P = 0.002). There was no detectable change in plasma polyphenol levels after either wine.
Conclusions: These data suggest that wine acutely improves endothelial function in patients with CAD. This improved endothelial function might contribute to a reduced risk of cardiovascular events.