Moderate amounts of red wine can reduce the negative effects of cigarettes
The truth is in wine, as the old saying goes. But wine can do even more, as scientists at the Saarland University in Homburg found. According to her, a glass of wine before smoking a cigarette can reduce damage from cigarette smoke. However, the effect can only be observed with moderate consumption, according to the research team. The scientists published the results of their study in the journal "American Journal Of Medicine".
Red wine contains protective chemicals
Can we really partially offset the negative effects of a vice with another health-negative vice? German experts claim that a glass of red wine before smoking cigarettes can prevent some of the damage that occurs. This effect is triggered by chemicals in the wine that protect our blood vessels from the short-term damage caused by smoking.
Relationship between blood alcohol levels and tobacco damage examined
In their study, the scientists examined the effects of smoking on the blood and arteries of twenty healthy non-smokers. The volunteers were willing to inhale the smoke from three cigarettes, the doctors explain. Half of the participants drank a glass of red wine an hour before smoking. As a result, a blood alcohol level of 0.75 percent was produced in these subjects.
Positive effects of red wine consumption
Drinking the wine prevented the release of microparticles from arterial walls, platelets and white blood cells, the German scientists explain. These are usually harmed by smoking. Red wine consumption also reduced inflammation and slowed the genetic aging process in human cells. This process is linked to the enzyme telomerase.
What is telomerase?
An enzyme of the cell nucleus is called telomerase. This consists of a protein (TERT) and an RNA portion (TR). The enzyme restores the telomeres, which are end pieces of the chromosomes.
Drinking red wine before smoking reduces the decrease in telomerase activity
In the study, it was observed that the so-called telomerase activity in volunteers after smoking was reduced by 56 percent, the researchers say. In contrast, the telomerase activity in wine-drinking subjects only fell by 20 percent.
Doctors examine vascular effects of red wine consumption before occasional smoking
The aim of our study was to investigate the acute vascular effects of drinking red wine before occasional smoking in healthy individuals, explains the study leader Dr. Viktoria Schwarz from the Saarland University in Homburg.
There is uncertainty about the protective effect of red wine in habitual smokers
We found evidence that consuming red wine before smoking prevented most of the vascular injuries from smoking. However, the study focused on young and healthy non-smokers. It's not clear whether the results also apply to the elderly, the sick, and habitual smokers, adds Dr. Black added.
Study does not want to encourage people to smoke or drink
The results are in no way intended to motivate occasional smokers to start drinking alcohol. Even occasional drinkers of alcohol shouldn't start smoking now, explains Dr. Black.
Examples of negative effects of smoking:
Smoking is generally seen as a source of many different health problems. The bad reputation of smoking cigarettes is not without reason. For example, there are studies that smoking causes long-lasting DNA damage. Some of the negative effects of smoking particularly affect women. Smoking increases the risk of colorectal cancer precursors in women much more than in men, doctors found in another recent study.
Further future studies on the subject should be carried out
The study identified suitable mechanisms to investigate the damage and protection of the vascular system in humans, explains the expert Dr. Black. Hopefully, the results will pave the way for future clinical studies, the study director continued. (as)