The protective effects of wine on the heart could be determined by its ability to act on certain fats present in the blood, called ceramides. This is the hypothesis that comes from the IRCCS Sacro Cuore of Negrar (Verona) which, together with the University of Verona, will soon launch a research doctorate within which we will try to demonstrate whether the light-moderate intake of wine can have beneficial cardiovascular effects by acting on the reduction of these lipids.
The research group has already conducted several studies which have shown that ceramides tend to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and recurrence of cardiac events such as heart attacks, even in people optimally treated with drugs to reduce bad LDL cholesterol. “The benefits of light-moderate wine consumption have been widely demonstrated, in particular the intake of red wine has been related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease,” explains Stefano Bonapace, cardiologist at Negrar. “Epidemiological studies and meta-analyses have mainly attributed this result to the large variety of polyphenolic compounds present in red wine, such as resveratrol, which inhibit the formation of inflammatory factors that cause cardiovascular disease,” he adds.
However, the biological mechanisms responsible for these effects are not fully understood to date. The protective effect appears to be linked to an increase in the blood of the good HDL cholesterol and a reduction of the oxidation of the bad LDL cholesterol.
“There are no data on the possible effect of wine on ceramides, which seem to play a ‘facilitating’ role in the atherogenesis process by favoring the deposition of bad LDL cholesterol in the artery wall with various mechanisms, thus causing progressive obstruction”, adds Bonapace. “The study aims precisely at trying to clarify through an experimentally controlled intake of a certain quantity of wine, whether part of the beneficial effect of this popular drink on the cardiovascular system can also pass through the modification of these ceramides in the blood which, in perspective, they could become a new therapeutic target”, he concludes.
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