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Red wine raises plasma HDL and preserves long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in rat kidney and erythrocytes

  • Jaulia Araya (a1), Ramón Rodrigo (a2), Myriam Orellana (a2) and Gonzalo Rivera (a2)


The effects of red wine and ethanol on plasma lipoproteins and the fatty acid composition of kidney lipids and erythrocytes phospholipids were studied. Lipid peroxidation is one of the main deleterious effects of oxidant attack on biomolecules, due to the disruption of the structural integrity of membranes. The vulnerability of the kidney to oxidative damage has been partly attributed to its high content of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Antioxidants, such as flavonoids, would be a means of reducing the risk of oxidative damage to membranes. Nutritional sources rich in antioxidants, including those provided by wine, are expected to attenuate the effects of oxidative challenges. Adult rats were fed red wine rich in flavonols, ethanol (125 ml/l), or alcohol-free red wine. The control group drank water. After 10 weeks, blood samples served to measure plasma lipoproteins and antioxidant capacity. Kidney lipids and erythrocyte phospholipids were extracted. The samples were assayed by GLC. Energy intake did not differ between all the groups, but the weight gain of the ethanol group was less than the other three groups. Blood HDL and triacylglycerols were increased by both ethanol and red wine. Ethanol decreased arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in both kidney lipids and erythrocyte phospholipids, as compared with either water, red wine or alcohol-free red wine groups. These results indicate that non-alcoholic components of red wine could contribute to avoiding the unfavourable effects of ethanol on plasma lipoproteins, kidney lipids and membrane erythrocyte phospholipids.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Professor Dr Julia Araya, fax +56 2 7355581, email


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