The Antioxidant Red Wine Polyphenols Protect Omega-3s
Chris D. Meletis, ND (with permission from cpmedical.net, access pin: 587556)
When we consume dietary or supplemental oils, such as fish oil, we must prevent them from undergoing oxidative damage (“free radical damage”). Polyunsaturaed oils by their very nature are prone to lipid peroxidation. However, even those of us in North America can harness the power of the French Paradox, which describes how the people of France can consume rich foods and still live long lives. This may be partially explained by the fact that they consume polyphenols, a primary antioxidant in red wine, which can help preserve the omega-3s.
Preventing oxidation of oils within the blood stream is important. And now researchers from France and Italy have detected that red wine polyphenols—and polyphenols in other foods, like cocoa, berries and extra virgin olive oil—may help maintain higher blood levels of omega-3s (EPA and DHA), providing another explanation for how red wine polyphenols help support heart health.
As we know, we don’t need to consume wine to acquire the polyphenols resveratrol and pterostilbene, phytonutrients that are so protective for the French. Indeed, the average westernized diet is rich in saturated fat, much like the diet consumed by the French, yet it is devoid of sufficient fruits, veggies and quality oil. Consequently, many of my patients back-fill the void in their diet with a quality trans-resveratrol/pterostilbene type product.
At the same time I encourage my patients to crank up their intake of cocoa, targeting about 40 grams (with 70 percent on the label) of their favorite dark chocolate plus berries and extra virgin olive oil.