The authors of this review state that a strong controversy persists regarding the effects of moderate red wine consumption and health. Guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancers discourage any consumption of alcoholic beverages, but several studies have demonstrated that low red wine intake may have positive effects on CVD risk.
In their review, they assessed the effect of red wine on:
- antioxidant status,
- cardiovascular function,
- coagulation pathway and platelet function,
- endothelial function and arterial stiffness,
- immune function and inflammation status,
- lipid profile and homocysteine levels,
- body composition, type 2 diabetes and glucose metabolism, and
- gut microbiota and the gastrointestinal tract.
Red wine consumption resulted mostly in improvements in antioxidant status, thrombosis and inflammation markers, lipid profile, and gut microbiota, with conflicting results on hypertension and cardiac function. Notably, beneficial effects were observed on oxidative stress, inflammation, and nephropathy markers, with a modest decrease in CVD risk in five out of seven studies (with a duration between six months and two years) that evaluated the effect of red wine consumption in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Importantly, a longer study duration with red wine consumption has been shown to protect renal and cardiac function parameters in T2DM patients, suggesting that a moderate intake of red wine may serve as a dietary supplement in diabetic patients.
The authors suggested that additional long-term randomised controlled trials are needed to confirm these benefits, and to assess the potential risks associated with red wine consumption.