Background: Moderate red wine has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, however the effects on certain CVD risk factors are unclear. In this study we have investigated the effects of dealcoholised red wine (DRW) and full-complement red wine (RW) on several cardiovascular risk factors in mildly hypercholesterolaemic postmenopausal women.
Objectives: To elucidate whether the chronic consumption of red wine polyphenols improves risk factors associated with CVD in hypercholesterolaemic postmenopausal women.
Design: Forty-five hypercholesterolaemic postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to consume 400 mL/day of either water, DRW or RW for 6 weeks following a 4-week washout. Fasting measures of lipids, lipoproteins, insulin and glucose were taken at 0 and 6 weeks.
Results: DRW consumption had no effect of fasting concentrations of lipids, lipoproteins, insulin and glucose. However, chronic consumption of RW significantly reduced fasting LDL cholesterol concentrations by 8% and increased HDL cholesterol concentrations by 17% in hypercholesterolaemic postmenopausal women.
Conclusions: Collectively, regular consumption of full-complement red wine reduces CVD risk by improving fasting lipid levels in hypercholesterolaemic postmenopausal women. This study uniquely demonstrated the LDL cholesterol-lowering effects of red wine in individuals at high CVD risk, which has not previously been shown.