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A Glass of Red Wine Before Smoking Could Reduce Short-Term Negative Effects of Tobacco

Nov 16, 2016 04:34 AM EST

A new study revealed that drinking a glass or two of red wine before smoking can help neutralize some of the short-term negative effects of cigarette smoking on blood vessels.

The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, showed that red wine is capable of counteracting the acute endothelial damage caused by cigarette smoking, By stimulating the formation of endothelium-dependent relaxation factors such as nitric oxide, red wine improves endothelial function in coronary arteries.

"The aim of our study was to investigate the acute vascular effects of red wine consumption prior to 'occasional lifestyle smoking' in healthy individuals," said lead author Viktoria Schwarz, MD, of the University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany, in a press release. "We found evidence that preconsumption of red wine prevented most of the vascular injury caused by smoking."

For the study, the researchers recruited 20 healthy non-smokers who volunteered to smoke three cigarettes. The researchers divided the participants into two groups. The first group drank red wine an hour before smoking, in an amount calculated to result in 0.75 percent blood alcohol content, while the second group did not drank red wine. Blood and urine samples were taken before and after drinking and smoking and continued until 18 hours after smoking.

The researchers observed that the participants in the red wine group did not have microparticles released in their bloodstreams. Microparticles are usually being released in the bloodstreams by cigarette smoking. The existence of particles, which comes from endothelial cells, platelets and monocytes, indicates damage in the cells of blood vessels.

Furthermore, the researchers also discovered that the telomerase activity of those who did not consumed red wine before smoking are lesser than those who drink, 56 percent decrease in activity and 20 percent decrease, respectively. Telomerase act as the protective caps of chromosomes. These caps shorten and lose their ability to protect as people age.

With their findings, the researcher noted the potential of red wine as a protective strategy to prevent vascular injury caused by smoking. However, the researchers highlighted that they do not promote smoking and drinking.

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