Lipid minor constituents in wines. A biochemical approach in the French paradox
E Fragopoulou1, C A Demopoulos2, S Antonopoulou1
1Department of Science of Nutrition-Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece; 2Faculty of Chemistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Abstract: The “French paradox” is the observation that the French suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats. Several theories have been proposed in order to explain this phenomenon and several debates arose. One of them attributed this phenomenon to the regular and moderate consumption of wine in France. More specific, it is thought that the existence of bioactive compounds in wine could have an effect on the cardiovascular system, preventing or delaying atherosclerosis. The mechanisms mediating these beneficial effects include: low-density lipoprotein oxidation; endothelium function; smooth muscle cells proliferation; platelet aggregation and angiogenesis. Several mediators participate in these pathophysiological mechanisms, among them are plateletactivating factor (PAF) and oxidized phospholipids that play a crucial and essential role in the initiation and the progression of atherogenesis. In this review, apart from the already known and well characterized biological effects of wine bioactive compounds, the co-existence of compounds that could modulate the production and the actions of PAF is highlighted. The existence of bioactive compounds in wine that could reduce PAF production and inhibit its actions may offer a new insight into the well known French paradox and expand the already reported mechanisms by including the inhibition of PAF actions.
Keywords: wine, bioactive compounds, lipids, platelet-activating factor, atherosclerosis
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