Wine only protects against cardiovascular disease in people who exercise, according to results from the In Vino Veritas (IVV) study presented at European Society of Cardiology Congress. This is the first randomized trial comparing the effects of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis in people at mild to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. The study found that moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised. Red and white wine produced the same results. Evidence suggesting that mild to moderate consumption of wine protects against cardiovascular disease has been accumulating since the early 1990s. In particular, retrospective studies have found that wine increases levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. But until now there has been no long-term, prospective, randomized study comparing the effects of red and white wine on HDL cholesterol and other markers of atherosclerosis. The IVV study is the first long-term, prospective randomized trial comparing the effect of red and white wine on markers of atherosclerosis. The study included 146 people with mild to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease according to the HeartScore. Participants were randomized to one year of moderate consumption of red wine or white winefrom the same year and wine region of the Czech Republic. The only positive and continuous result was in the subgroup of patients who took more exercise, which means regular exercise at least twice a week, plus the wine consumption. In this group HDL cholesterol increased and LDL and total cholesterol decreased in the red and white wine groups. There may be some synergy between the low dose of ethyl alcohol in wine and exercise which is protective against cardiovascular disease, according to the study.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis