For the first time, it has been shown in human volunteers that wine drinking can promote the formation of a polyphenol which could, in part, explain the health benefits related to moderate wine consumption.
Hydroxytyrosol is a phenolic compound which has one of the highest antioxidative capacities found in natural food substances. Extra-virgin olive oil is a rich source of hydroxytyrosol and its health benefits can be partly contributed to this phenolic ingredient. In humans, higher urinary hydroxyltyrosol concentrations were observed with higher alcohol and wine consumption. To explore the role of wine in promoting an endogenous hydroxytyrosol, Spanish researchers carried out a cross-over, double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial with 28 healthy volunteers comparing wine and vodka, dealcoholized wine, and placebo. Their results showed that alcohol, dealcoholized wine, and particularly wine promoted the generation of hydroxytyrosol in vivo in humans.
Perez-Mana C, Farre M, Rodriguez-Morato J, et al. Moderate consumption of wine, through both its phenolic compounds and alcohol content, promotes hydroxytyrosol endogenous generation in humans. A randomized controlled trial. Mol Nutr Food Res 2015;59(6):1213-6.
For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.