Heart DiseaseOmega-3 Fatty Acids

How might wine protect from heart disease?

It might be wine’s ability to raise omega-3 fatty acids, according to researchers at Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble, France.

The relationship between wine drinking and marine omega-3 were evaluated in patients with coronary heart disease.

  • Patients were classified according to their habitual consumption of ethanol and compared to their intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) — the main plant omega-3 fatty acid.
  • Patients in the high ALA group and controls (low ALA group)were analyzed separately.

And, the results.

  • Within each group there was a progressive increase in marine omega-3 levels with increased alcohol intake.
  • The difference in the levels of eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) (another omega-3 fatty acid) was significant between groups.
  • After controlling for potential confounding factors (including dietary EPA), the association between wine ethanol and EPA remained significant in both ALA groups.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “In these patients with coronary heart disease, moderate wine drinking was associated with higher marine omega-3 concentrations than no alcohol use” This effect of wine [which is] comparable to that of fish may partly explain the protective effects of wine drinking against coronary heart disease.”

12/18/07 22:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.