The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 16 No. 9 • October 2013

Chronic Red Wine Consumption by Middle Aged Men Reduces Plasma LPS, An Important Source of Inflammation

We have written before on how LPS, lipopolysaccharide (a component of bacterial cell wall), is a major source of inflammatory stimulation of the immune system and probably a key element in the aging process.1 A new paper2 reports that chronic red wine consumption by middle aged men increases certain gut microbes and that this increase was correlated negatively with LPS concentrations. The resident gut microbiota appears to play an important role in supplying LPS to plasma in metabolic endotoxemia2 and could, therefore, be a major supplier of inflammatory immune system stimuli.

The researchers were investigating the effect on LPS concentrations and on the gut microbiota of chronic red wine consumption and acute red wine intake in middle-aged men on a diet high in fat. It has been shown that even a single high fat meal can result in a significant increase in absorption of LPS from the gastrointestinal tract in a small trial of 12 healthy men.2B Studies in animal models of high fat diet-induced obesity have reported increased plasma LPS concentration as an early event in the development of diabetes.3

While the investigators didn’t find a significant difference between LPS or LPS-binding protein (LBP) concentrations between subjects who were taking chronic red wine, dealcoholized red wine, or gin for 20 days,* they did observe significant increases in the amounts of Bifidobacterium and Prevotella gut microbes in subjects consuming chronic red wine, where these increases were correlated negatively with LPS concentration. An earlier paper4 had also reported that increases in bifidobacteria in mice fed a high fat diet supplemented with a prebiotic, oligofructose, resulted in reduced inflammation and decreased endotoxemia (LPS).

* The subjects drank 272 ml/day of red wine (250 ml is about a cup), dealcoholized red wine (272 ml/day), or gin (100 ml/day) during the 20 day study.

Interestingly, the researchers2 found that there was an enhanced postprandial lipid response to a meal induced by red wine but, despite that, a moderate dose of red wine prevented the increase in NF-kappaB activation ordinarily induced by a high fat meal. As suggested by the paper reported above, aging is associated with increased expression of NF-kappaB and decreased expression of this molecule (particularly in the hypothalamus) may be an effective way to slow aging.


1. Finch and Crimmins. Inflammatory exposure and historical changes in human life-spans. Science. 305:1736-9 (2004).
2. Clemente-Postigo et al. Effect of acute and chronic red wine consumption on lipopolysaccharide concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 97:1053-61 (2013).
2B. Erridge et al. A high-fat meal induces low-grade endotoxemia: evidence of a novel mechanism of postprandial inflammation. Am J Clin Nutr. 86:1286-92 (2007).
3. Cani et al. Metabolic endotoxemia initiates obesity and insulin resistance. Diabetes. 56:1761-72 (2007).

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