Polyphenols in Red Wine Shown to Lower the Risk of Stroke
Alcohol Consumption and Its Effect on the Risk of Stroke
Consumption of ethanol - the type of alcohol present in alcoholic beverages - in small doses has been linked to several health benefits such as lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. In a study conducted by the Danish Epidemiology Science Center at the Institute of Preventive Medicine at Copenhagen University Hospital and the Department of Neurology at Bispebjerg University in Denmark; investigators set out to compare the effects of ethanol and other compounds present in commonly consumed alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and other liquors to find their effects in relation to the risk of stroke.
Only Intake of Wine Lowered the Risk of Stroke
Over 10,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 84 participated in the Copenhagen City Heart Study over a 16 year period, during which 833 strokes were observed. The relationship of multiple variables were analyzed and the researchers found indications that only the participants who were administered red wine showed a lower risk of stroke, compared to the participants that did not consume any wine at all. These results were found among participants who consumed wine in a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. In addition, consumption of beer or other spirits made no difference in the risk of stroke.
Red Wine Polyphenols can Lower the Risk of Stroke
The study also concluded that the polyphenols, antioxidant and flavonoid compounds found in red wine are responsible for the protective effects on stroke risk. Among these chemicals, Resveratrol has been linked to having cardioprotective and chemoprotective effects. All of these compounds are found in higher concentrations in red wines rather than white or blush wines. Because wine is sipped slowly and even swished around in the mouth while drinking to appreciate its flavor, many of the nutrients are absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth delivering the compounds directly to the bloodstream and bypassing the digestive process. However, continued consumption of alcoholic beverages may lead to liver and sugar metabolism problems due to their sugar and alcohol content.
Resveratrol Supplements as Suitable Alternative to Red Wine Consumption
Dietary supplements containing the antioxidant compound resveratrol can be readily obtained in the marketplace. However, most of these supplements come in the form of pills or capsules, which are quickly metabolized and eliminated upon ingestion. Buccal delivery resveratrol tablets or melts are a better alternative, since they are designed to be absorbed through the mouth's tissue and bypassing the liver. This produces greater bioavailability of the resveratrol polyphenol in the blood stream, maximizing it health benefits.
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