French Paradox

Reports from Epidemiologists in the early 1990s contained an unusual observation. In France, especially in the south of the country, the heart attack rate was about 30-40 percent lower than in comparable European countries and the United States. This observation was in spite high rates of smoking and high cholesterol diets.

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As a result of these studies and others, the term French Paradox was first presented by Dr. Serge Renaud, a scientist from Bordeaux University in France (1)

The high consumption of red wine became known as the French cardioprotective effect. The research isolated, Resveratrol, as the active concentrate in the trends of lower heart disease rates in the French cohort (2).

Subsequent investigations are central to explain the French paradox. Large cohort studies like those of Klatsky could with moderate alcohol consumption decreases cardiovascular disease demonstrate regardless of what type of alcohol was consumed (3). The Copenhagen City Heart Study documented the generally cardioprotective effects of alcohol, wine drinker but found a slightly lower overall mortality compared to beer drinkers (4).

The acting agent in red wine, namely, Resveratrol continues to attract research and media atteniton as scientists debate the its health and biological.

(1) Simini (2000). "Serge Renaud: from French paradox to Cretan miracle".

(2) Hung, LM, et al. Cardioprotective effect of resveratrol, a natural antioxidant derived from grapes. Cardiovasc. Cardiovasc. Res. 47 (2000) 549-555. Res 47 (2000)

(3) Klatsky AL, Armstrong MA, Friedman, GD Red wine, white wine, liquor, beer and risk for coronary artery disease hospitalization. Am. Am. J. Cardiol. J. Cardiol. 80 (1997) 416-420. 80 (1997)

(4) Gronbaek, M., et al. Mortality Associated with Moderate Intakes of Wine, Beer, or Spirits. Brit. Brit. Med. J. 310 (1995) 1165-1169. Med J. 310 (1995)

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