Moderate consumption of red wine and human platelet responsiveness


      Available studies showed an inverse association between red wine consumption and prevalence of vascular risk factors in coronary hearth disease and stroke. Effects were mainly associated to wine antioxidant and antiaggregant properties. Actually, in vitro studies indicate a favourable effect of wine and/or of its non-alcoholic components in decreasing platelet sensitivity and aggregability. In a 4-week supplementation in 15 healthy male volunteers, we evaluated whether moderate red wine consumption might improve antioxidant defence mechanisms and promote positive modulation of inflammatory cytokines and cell adhesion molecules in relation to platelet responsiveness. We did not find any change of ADP- and collagen-induced platelet aggregation ex vivo, any change of biomarkers of oxidative stress, and any change of plasma lipid profile and haemostatic parameters, with the only exception of decreased fibrinogen levels (P<0.05). We also found an increase of mean platelet volume (P<0.05) without any significant modification of CD40 Ligand and P-selectin levels. Increased expressions of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, soluble E-selectin and interleukin-6 (P<0.05) were also observed. According to our findings increased circulating levels of inflammatory and endothelial cell activation markers may indicate a low-grade systemic inflammation and vascular activation that could be responsible for the lack of inhibition or of decreased platelet responsiveness, possibly because the plasmatic increase of wine antioxidant compounds is insufficient to improve endothelial function and to counteract the influence of ethanol on endothelial activation.


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