Relationship among antioxidant activity, vasodilation capacity, and phenolic content of red wines

J Burns, P T Gardner, J O'Neil, S Crawford, I Morecroft, D B McPhail, C Lister, D Matthews, M R MacLean, M E J Lean, G G Duthie, A Crozier

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The relationship among antioxidant activity, based on the electron-spin resonance determination of the reduction of Fremy's radical, vasodilation activity, and phenolic content was investigated in 16 red wines. The wines were selected to provide a range of origins, grape varieties, and vinification methods. Sensitive and selective HPLC methods were used for the analysis of the major phenolics in red wine: free and conjugated myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin; (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, gallic acid, p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, caftaric acid, trans-resveratrol, cis-resveratrol, and trans-resveratrol glucoside. Total anthocyanins were measured using a colorimetric assay. The total phenolic content of the wines was determined according to the Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric assay and also by the cumulative measurements obtained by HPLC. The 16 wines exhibited a wide range in the values of all parameters investigated. However, the total phenol contents, measured both by HPLC and colorimetrically, correlated very strongly with the antioxidant activity and vasodilation activity. In addition, the antioxidant activity was associated with gallic acid, total resveratrol, and total catechin. In contrast, only the total anthocyanins were correlated with vasodilation activity. The results demonstrate that the different phenolic profiles of wines can produce varying antioxidant and vasodilatant activities, which opens up the possibility that some red wines may provide enhanced health benefits for the consumer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-230
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 1999
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


  • polyphenols
  • red wine
  • HPLC
  • vasodilation
  • antioxidant activity
  • electron spin resonance spectroscopy
  • Fremy's salt radical
  • low-density lipoproteins
  • coronary heart-disease
  • human LDL oxidation
  • trans-resveratrol
  • California wines
  • consumption
  • quercetin
  • grapes
  • inhibition
  • susceptibiliy


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