Red Wine Increases the Expression of Human Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase

The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 6 No. 1 • February 2003

Red Wine Increases the Expression of Human Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase

A new paper1 reports another mechanism that may play an important role in red wine’s cardiovascular protective effects. Researchers report that in human endothelial cells treated with red wine, there was an upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) mRNA and eNOS protein expression. The endothelial cells treated with the red wines produced up to three times more bioactive nitric oxide (NO) than did control cells.

The NO produced by endothelial NOS (eNOS) acts as a vasodilator, allowing arteries to expand in size when necessary to increase blood flow. In fact, the first sign of developing atherosclerosis (even before the development of a fatty streak) is a failure of arterial dilation in response to acetylcholine (which is called endothelial dysfunction), a failure of NO production and/or release. NO also decreases the expression of adhesion molecules and of platelet-derived growth factors that stimulate proliferation of smooth muscle cells, and it inhibits platelet aggregation, among other effects.

P.S. The authors made a point of mentioning that they used red wine from France, so we are passing that along, but we see no reason to suppose that French red wine is superior to, say, Californian, Italian, Argentinean, Chilean, or Australian red wine.


  1. Wallerath et al. Red wine increases the expression of human endothelial nitric oxide synthase. J Am Coll Cardiol 41(3):471-8 (2003). Our thanks to Will Block for sending us this paper.

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