Drinking red wine is widely regarded as protective against cardiovascular disease. A new report in The American Journal of Medicine found that a glass or two of red wine before lighting up a cigarette can counteract some of the short-term negative effects of smoking on blood vessels.
Cigarette smoke causes acute endothelial damage, vascular and systemic inflammation, and cellular aging. Red wine stimulates the formation of endothelium-dependent relaxation factors such as nitric oxide, which improve endothelial function in coronary arteries possibly because of the high phenol concentration in red wine.
“However, sparse data exist on the short term potential vasoprotective effects of red wine in smoking-healthy individuals,” explained lead investigator Viktoria Schwarz, MD, of the University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany. “The aim of our study was to investigate the acute vascular effects of red wine consumption prior to ‘occasional lifestyle smoking’ in healthy individuals. We found evidence that preconsumption of red wine prevented most of the vascular injury caused by smoking.”
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