Ethanol beverages containing polyphenols decrease nuclear factor kappa-B activation in mononuclear cells and circulating MCP-1 concentrations in healthy volunteers during a fat-enriched diet

Atherosclerosis. 2007 Jun;192(2):335-41. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.07.035. Epub 2006 Sep 12.


Aims: Different epidemiological studies have demonstrated that some ethanol containing beverages intake could be associated with a reduction of cardiovascular mortality, effect attributed in part to its antioxidant properties. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) is a redox sensitive transcription factor implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We have examined the effect of four different ethanol containing beverages on the activation of NF-kappaB in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and circulating concentrations of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in healthy volunteers receiving a fat-enriched diet.

Methods and results: Sixteen volunteers received 16 g/m(2) of ethanol in form of red wine, spirits (vodka, rum, and brandy) or no ethanol intake along with a fat-enriched diet during 5 days and all of them took all alcohols at different periods. NF-kappaB activation (electrophoretic mobility shift assay) and circulating MCP-1 levels (ELISA) were examined in blood samples taken before and after 5 days of ethanol intake. Subjects receiving a fat-enriched diet had increased NF-kappaB activation in PBMC at day 5. Furthermore, MCP-1 levels were increased in plasma at day 5. Red wine intake and some ethanol beverages containing polyphenols (brandy and rum) prevented NF-kappaB activation and decreased MCP-1 release.

Conclusion: Consumption of moderate amounts of alcoholic drinks containing polyphenols decreases NF-kappaB activation in PBMCs and MCP-1 plasma levels during a fat-enriched diet. Our results provide additional evidence of the anti-inflammatory effects of some ethanol containing beverages, further supporting the idea that its moderate consumption may help to reduce overall cardiovascular mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Beverages*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chemokine CCL2 / blood*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / physiology
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / drug effects
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • CCL2 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Dietary Fats
  • Flavonoids
  • NF-kappa B
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols