Wine polyphenols may reduce effect of fatty food: study

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food Nutrition

Polyphenols from wine may reduce the negative impact of high-fat
foods, according to a small study from Israel that suggests a role
in the formulation of healthier food products.

The development of healthier foods to meet the growing concerns of consumers is a major target for the food industry.

While R&D efforts are currently focused on ingredients and technologies to reduce fat without impairing taste or texture, the new findings could point the way to a future where the fat is left in, but with other ingredients are added to reduce the fat's ill effects.

The researchers, led by Joseph Kanner of the Department of Food Science at Volcani Center in Bet Dagan, Israel, acknowledged that there is existing evidence pointing to the role of polyphenols in preventing cardiovascular disease, but that the mechanism of action is not understood.

The aim of their study, published in this month's Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), was to look at the impact of red wine polyphenols on levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a bi-product of fat digestion that is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions.

"We suggested a new hypothesis to explain polyphenols," said Kanner.

Although the study was small, involving just six healthy men and four healthy women, he said: " For the first time, these compounds were demonstrated to prevent significantly the appearance of toxic food derivative compounds in human plasma."

Kanner and his team gave the participants one of three different dark turkey cutlet meals.

The control meal consisted of turkey meat and water; the second consisted of turkey meat with one tablespoon of concentrated wine added after cooking and followed by a glass of wine; and the third meal consisted of the same polyphenols from wine added before cooking, also followed by a glass of wine.

After the meal, the participants gave blood and urine samples.

Those who ate the control meal were seen to have plasma levels of MDA increased almost five-fold compared to baseline, by as much as 160 nm (baseline levels were 30 to 70 nm).

However those who ate the second meal were reported to have a 75 per cent reduction in absorption of MDA; and in those who ate the third meal "the elevation of plasma MDA was completely prevented", wrote the researchers.

The researchers said the same results were seen from analysis of MDA accumulation in the participants' urine.

"Our study suggests that red wine polyphenols exert a beneficial effect by the novel new function, absorption inhibition of the lipotoxin MDA ," wrote the team.

"These findings explain the potentially harmful effects of oxidised fats found in foods and the important benefit of dietary polyphenols in the meal ."

Although the study was very small scale and one would expect considerably more research to be conducted before the findings had any real bearing on food industry direction, Gerald Weismann, MD, editor-in-chief of the FASEB journal, was jubilant about the potential.

"As long as deep fried candy bars are on menus, scientists will need to keep serving up new ways to prevent the cellular damage caused by these very tasty treats," he said.

"This study suggests that the time will come where people can eat French fries without plugging their arteries."

Source: The FASEB Journal .

2008, Volume 22, Pages 41-46; doi: 10.1096/fj.07-9041com " A novel function of red wine polyphenols in humans: prevention of absorption of cytotoxic lipid peroxidation products"

Authors: S. Gorelik, M. Ligumsky, R. Kohen, J. Kanner

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