Objective: To evaluate the effect of moderate consumption of red wine on platelet aggregation and haemostatic variables, discriminating the effect of alcohol from that of non-alcoholic components.
Design: A randomised crossover study.
Setting: The Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Milan.
Subjects: Eleven healthy male volunteers who were moderate drinkers.
Interventions: For three periods of four weeks, subjects drank three different beverages [320 ml of red wine (providing 30 g/day of alcohol), 30 g/day of alcohol diluted in 320 ml of clear fruit juice or 320 ml of dealcoholised red wine] during the two main meals. Each treatment was preceded by a period of four weeks of complete withdrawal from any alcoholic beverage. At the end of each period platelet aggregation after collagen and ADP stimulus, and levels of fibrinogen, plasminogen, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen and von Willebrand factor (vWF) were determined.
Results: Consumption for a period of four weeks of 30 g/day of alcohol either from red wine or alcohol resulted in similar decreases of collagen-induced platelet aggregation and fibrinogen levels. ADP-induced platelet aggregation, t-PA antigen, vWF and plasminogen levels were not affected by any treatment. No differences were detected when we compared platelet function and the other haemostatic variables at the end of red wine and dealcoholised treatments with findings at the end of alcohol treatment and abstinence.
Conclusions: The well known positive effect of moderate consumption of red wine on haemostasis seems due to alcohol and not to the non-alcoholic fraction present in red wine.