Preventive drinking

| November 16, 2016

Drinking a glass of red wine before lighting up can prevent some of the harm caused by tobacco smoking, according to an Associated Press story published by the Mail Online and citing research reported in the American Journal of Medicine.

The wine contains chemicals that protect against short-term damage to the lining of blood vessels, a recent study suggests.

Scientists at the University of Saarland, Hamburg, Germany, investigated the effects of smoking on the blood and arteries of 20 healthy non-smokers who volunteered to inhale from three cigarettes.

Half of the volunteers drunk red wine one hour before smoking, consuming an amount calculated to produce a blood/alcohol level of 0.75 percent.

Drinking the wine was shown to have prevented the release of micro-particles from artery walls, platelets and white blood cells that is known to indicate smoking damage.

It was shown also to have reduced inflammation and slowed a genetic ageing process in cells – linked to the enzyme telomerase – that accelerates after smoking.

Telomerase activity in the volunteers who did not drink the wine fell by 56 percent after smoking, but by only 20 percent in those who did drink the wine.

“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 scientist Dr. Viktoria Schwarz.

“We found evidence that pre-consumption of red-wind prevented most of the vascular injury caused by smoking.”

Schwarz said that since the study focused on young, healthy non-smokers it was not clear whether the findings would apply to the elderly, sick or habitual smokers.

And she stressed that her team did not want to motivate occasional smokers to drink or occasional drinkers to smoke.

“Nevertheless, this study identified mechanisms suitable to explore damage and protection on the vasculature in humans, paving the way for future clinical trials,” she said.

Category: Breaking News

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