In recent decades, epidemiological studies have shown that the incidence of cardiovascular disease is less frequent in countries where wine is regularly consumed in moderate amounts. The cardioprotective effect of red wine in particular is thought to be due to the action of flavonoid monomers (catechin and epicatechin) on the inhibition of the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) a process that is considered as one of the initial phases in the development of coronary artery disease. We determined by HPLC with UV detection the concentrations of catechin, epicatechin and various phenolic acids in red and white wines of different vintages from various regions of the Azores and mainland Portugal. The combined concentration of catechin and epicatechin in white wines are in general less than 30 mg/l. For red wines, the levels vary from 49.9 mg/l for a varietal wine from the Palmela region of Portugal to 328.8 mg/l for a varietal wine of the Pico region of the Azores. Based on these results, it may be estimated that for a moderate daily consumption of 160 ml of wine, the daily flavanoid intake is on average 1.8 mg for white wines and 23.7 mg for red wines.
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