Wine offers protection against heart disease in physically active people, a new study reveals.
Since the early 1990s, researchers have provided evidence stating mild-moderate consumption of wine offers protection against cardiovascular diseases. They have highlighted that wine enhances the level of good cholesterol. But, not much is known on the effects of red and white wine on HDL cholesterol and other markers of atherosclerosis.
The latest study by the European Society of Cardiology studied 146 people with mild to moderate risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to HeartScore. The participants were randomly assigned to 1 year of moderate consumption of red wine or white wine the same year.
Professor Milos Taborsky said: "This is the first randomized trial comparing the effects of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis in people at mild to moderate risk of CVD. We found that moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised. Red and white wine produced the same results."
According to the World Health Organization, moderate consumption of wine was of 0.2 L for women and 0.3 L for men, a maximum of five times a week. The level of HDL cholesterol at one year was the primary endpoint level. Secondary endpoint included levels of other markers of arthrosclerosis that included LDL cholesterol. Participants followed regular diet.
The participants were asked to record their consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages, medication use, and the amount and type of exercise. In order to confirm that they drank wine and did not sell it, the participants had to return the corks of wine bottles.
There was no difference in HDL cholesterol levels at the start of the study as compared to a year in either red or white wine groups. The level of LDL cholesterol was lower in both the groups at 1 year, but the level of total cholesterol was low only in the red wine group.
Professor Taborsky said: "A rise in HDL cholesterol is the main indication of a protective effect against CVD, therefore we can conclude that neither red or white wine had any impact on study participants as a whole. The only positive and continuous result was in the subgroup of patients who took more exercise, which means regular exercise at least twice a week, plus the wine consumption. In this group HDL cholesterol increased and LDL and total cholesterol decreased in the red and white wine groups. There may be some synergy between the low dose of ethyl alcohol in wine and exercise which is protective against CVD."
The researchers, in future, plan on comparing the effects of both red and white wine on markers of arthrosclerosis in those with high risk for CVD who take statins and do not exercise regularly.