Wine can 'inhibit HIV'

Wine can 'inhibit HIV' News Wine News
  • Sunday 30 July 2000

Antioxidants and flavonoids in wine offer a defence against HIV - the virus that causes AIDS - claims a French medical scientist.

Martin Edeas of the Antoine Beclere hospital in Paris said at the recent world Congress of the Vine and Wine in France that the antioxidant properties of wine can slow HIV in the first stages of infection.

One or two glasses of wine per day, complimenting an anti-viral medication programme, appears to prolong the incubation period of the HIV virus (pictured) before the onset of full-blown AIDS. Another side benefit appears to be an increased appetite.

Edeas claims that the polyphenols and flavonoids in wine inhibit HIV progression by up to 80 per cent. His study builds on the work of Serge Renaud at Bordeaux University which demonstrates that wine can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers.

This is the so-called 'French Paradox' - the scientifically-intriguing fact that despite eating more fat per capita than most other European countries, the French have a far lower incidence of heart disease.

'The French love of red wine may explain the French Paradox,' says Sarah Schenker of the British Nutrition Foundation. 'Higher consumption of saturated fatty acids in France have not produced a correspondingly higher rate of heart disease. This might be explained by the polyphenols found in wine, which strengthen the immune system.'

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