Background: Few clinical studies have focused on the alcohol-independent cardiovascular effects of the phenolic compounds of red wine (RW).
Objective: We aimed to evaluate the effects of ethanol and phenolic compounds of RW on the expression of inflammatory biomarkers related to atherosclerosis in subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Design: Sixty-seven high-risk, male volunteers were included in a randomized, crossover consumption trial. After a washout period, all subjects received RW (30 g alcohol/d), the equivalent amount of dealcoholized red wine (DRW), or gin (30 g alcohol/d) for 4 wk. Before and after each intervention period, 7 cellular and 18 serum inflammatory biomarkers were evaluated.
Results: Alcohol increased IL-10 and decreased macrophage-derived chemokine concentrations, whereas the phenolic compounds of RW decreased serum concentrations of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, E-selectin, and IL-6 and inhibited the expression of lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 in T lymphocytes and macrophage-1 receptor, Sialil-Lewis X, and C-C chemokine receptor type 2 expression in monocytes. Both ethanol and phenolic compounds of RW downregulated serum concentrations of CD40 antigen, CD40 ligand, IL-16, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the phenolic content of RW may modulate leukocyte adhesion molecules, whereas both ethanol and polyphenols of RW may modulate soluble inflammatory mediators in high-risk patients. The trial was registered in the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Register at http://www.isrctn.org/ as ISRCTN88720134.