Red wine is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in the world and has retained its popularity for several centuries. Its production, consumption, and composition have become a disciplinary field for scientific research due to the ingredients with which it is made and its fermentation process, factors to which health benefits are attributed.
Findings based on in vivo and in vitro studies have found that moderate, optional, daily intake of red wine (200 mL for men and 100 mL for women) can prevent several chronic diseases. This is due, in part, to the presence and quantity of important antioxidants in this beverage, such as polyphenols, especially resveratrol, anthocyanins, and catechins, being the most abundant.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant that has been attributed a cardioprotective effect, as it neutralizes oxygen free radicals and reactive oxygen species, which cause oxidative stress, which in turn is related to several diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cellular dysfunction. Resveratrol has also been reported to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and thereby protect brain and nerve cells.
Studies suggest that resveratrol can reduce platelet aggregation and thus counteract the formation of blood clots or thrombi, as it has a protective and modulating effect on the factors involved in the coagulation cascade.
Several research studies have focused their efforts on analyzing the cardiovascular protective effect of resveratrol; the coincident results to date have shown that this polyphenol has cardioprotective effects that include improving endothelial function and glucose metabolism, reducing inflammation, and regulating blood lipids.
It has also been reported to have the ability to normalize free fatty acid oxidation, improve glucose utilization and control the level of oxidative stress in people with diabetes.
It is possible to enhance the effect of resveratrol through a balanced diet, such as the "Mediterranean diet", which includes red wine, fish, fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.