Wine, diet, antioxidant defenses, and oxidative damage

Druso D. Pérez, Pablo Strobel, Rocío Foncea, M. Soledad Díez, Luis Vásquez, Inés Urquiaga, Oscar Castillo, Ada Cuevas, Alejandra San Martín, Federico Leighton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress is a central mechanism for the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease and atherogenesis, for cancer and other chronic diseases in general, and it also plays a major role in the aging process. Dietary antioxidants constitute a large group of compounds that differ in mechanism of action, bioavailability and side effects. A systematic analysis of the role of the various antioxidants in chronic diseases is hampered by the difficulty of employing death or clinical events as end points in intervention studies. Therefore, valid markers for oxidative stress, which show dose response and are sensitive to changes in dietary supply of antioxidants, are potentially of great value when trying to establish healthy dietary patterns, or when one component, like red wine, is evaluated specifically. To evaluate potential oxidative stress markers we have studied the effect of different diets plus wine supplementation on antioxidant defenses and oxidative damage. In three experimental series, four groups of young male university students, one of older men and other of older women, 20-24 volunteers each, received Mediterranean or occidental (high-fat) diets alone or supplemented with red wine, white wine, or fruits and vegetables. Measurements included, leukocyte DNA 8-OH-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG), plasma 7β-hydroxycholesterol, TBARS and well-characterized antioxidants, and plasma and urine polyphenol antioxidants. In all experimental groups that received red wine, consumption resulted in marked decrease in 8OHdG. The changes observed in 8OHdG correlate positively with the other markers of oxidative damage, and shows a clear inverse correlation with the plasma level of well established antioxidants and with measurements of total antioxidant capacity. Urinary total polyphenol content as well as the sum of some specific plasma species also correlate inversely with 8OHdG. In conclusion, the results identify 8OHdG as a very promising general marker of oxidative stress in nutrition intervention studies in humans, and red wine shows a remarkable protective effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • 8-OH-deoxyguanosine
  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidative stress

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