Liver function is well maintained with increasing age. The aim of our study was to investigate if long-term moderate (<or=500 ml/day) red wine consumption influences the most common laboratory tests of liver function in healthy centenarians. Wine consumption habits were classified as moderate red wine drinkers (D) (<or=500 ml/day of red wine consumption in the past and present) (no.=3 males, 16 females) and abstainers (A) who never consumed red wine or alcoholic beverages (no.=1 male, 4 females). None were heavy drinkers. Laboratory tests revealed low levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). AST was higher in A (Mean+/-SE=8.40+/-0.32 U/l) in comparison to D (Mean+/-SE=6.25+/-0.72 U/l), but this difference was not statistically significant. Total-bilirubin (Tbil), alkaline phosphatase (AlkP), gamma- glutamyltransferase (GGT) and pseudocholinesterase (CHE) were in the normal range, and there was no difference between D and A. We conclude that red wine consumption in centenarians had no negative effect on circulating liver enzyme activities.