Wine only protects against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people who exercise, according to results from the In Vino Veritas (IVV) study presented at ESC Congress 2014.
IVV is the first long-term, prospective randomised 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. Participants were randomised to one year of moderate consumption of red (Pinot Noir) or white wine (Chardonnay-Pinot) from the same year and wine region of the Czech Republic.
Moderate consumption was the World Health Organization definition of 0.2 L for women and 0.3 L for men, a maximum of five times a week. The primary endpoint was the level of HDL cholesterol at one year. Participants consumed their usual diet.
The researchers found that there was no difference between HDL cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study compared to one year in either the red or white wine groups. LDL cholesterol was lower in both groups at one year while total cholesterol was lower only in the red wine group.: "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 CVD."
Via Seth Bilazarian, MD