Comparison of acute effects of red wine, beer and vodka against hyperoxia-induced oxidative stress and increase in arterial stiffness in healthy humans

Atherosclerosis. 2011 Oct;218(2):530-5. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.07.004. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


Objective: We determined and compared acute effects of different alcoholic beverages on oxygen-induced increase in oxidative stress plasma marker and arterial stiffness in healthy humans.

Methods: Ten males randomly consumed one of four tested beverages: red wine (RW), vodka, beer (0.32 g ethanol/kg body wt) and water as control. Every beverage was consumed once, a week apart, in a cross-over design. The volunteers breathed 100% normobaric O(2) between 60th and 90th min of 3h study protocol. Plasma lipid peroxides (LOOH) and uric acid (UA) concentration, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and arterial stiffness (indicated by augmentation index, AIx) were measured before and 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min after beverage consumption.

Results: Intake of all alcoholic beverages caused a similar increase of BAC. The oxygen-induced elevation in AIx was similarly reduced in all three groups relative to the control (3.4 ± 1.3%, 5.4 ± 2.2% and 0.2 ± 1.6% vs. 13.7 ± 2.6% for red wine, vodka, beer and control, respectively, 60 min after intake). Exposure to oxygen resulted in increased plasma LOOH in all groups. However, in RW group this increase was lowest (1.1 ± 0.5) in comparison to the vodka (2.1 ± 0.5), beer (1.6±0.3) and control (2.5 ± 0.4μM/L H(2)O(2)). 60 min after intake of RW and beer plasma UA significantly increased (34 ± 4 and 15 ± 3) in contrast to vodka and control (-6 ± 2 and -8 ± 2μmol/L).

Conclusion: All three alcoholic beverages provided similar protection against oxygen-induced increase in arterial stiffness, probably due to central vasodilatatory effect of alcohol itself, but only RW provided protection against oxygen-induced oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Alcohols / blood
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Beer
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxia
  • Lipid Peroxides / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Time Factors
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Vascular Stiffness*
  • Wine


  • Alcohols
  • Antioxidants
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Lipids
  • Phenols
  • Uric Acid