Latest Issue of Science News


A glass of red may keep arteries loose

Wine dissolves behavioral inhibitions, but a biochemical inhibition may underlie some of red wine's benefits to the heart.

Moderate intake of alcoholic beverages reduces a person's risk of heart disease. Some studies have suggested that red wine has an added benefit. If true, what makes reds special?

A clue comes from endothelin-1 (ET-1), a chemical produced by cells in the walls of blood vessels. High concentrations of ET-1 can constrict blood vessels, a condition that can contribute to heart disease.

Roger Corder and his colleagues at Queen Mary, University of London, set out to test whether drinking red wine might inhibit ET-1 production. They added various amounts of alcohol-free extracts of red wine to cows' blood vessel cells. The more extract the cells received, the less ET-1 they released.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.