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A daily glass of red wine associated with lifestyle changes independently improves blood lipids in patients with carotid arteriosclerosis: results from a randomized controlled trial

Dirk W Droste1*, Catalina Iliescu2, Michel Vaillant3, Manon Gantenbein2, Nancy De Bremaeker2, Charlotte Lieunard2, Telma Velez2, Michèle Meyer2, Tessy Guth3, Andrea Kuemmerle4, Georges Gilson5 and Anna Chioti2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), 4 rue Barblé, L-1210, Luxembourg, Luxemburg

2 Centre de Recherche Public-Santé (CRP-Santé), Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centre (CIEC), 1A-B, rue Thomas Edison, L-1445, Strassen, Luxemburg

3 Centre de Recherche Public-Santé (CRP-Santé), Methodology and Statistical Competence Centre (CCMS), 1A-B, rue Thomas Edison, L-1445, Strassen, Luxemburg

4 Centre de Recherche Public-Santé (CRP-Santé), Centre of Health Studies, 1A-B, rue Thomas Edison, L-1445, Strassen, Luxemburg

5 Department of Clinical Biology, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), 4 rue Barblé, L-1210 Luxemburg, Luxembourg

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Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:147  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-147

Published: 15 November 2013



Physical exercise and a Mediterranean diet improve serum lipid profile. The present work studied whether red wine has an effect on top of a lipid-lowering lifestyle in patients with carotid atherosclerosis.


A prospective randomised unblinded trial was performed from 2009 to 2011 in 108 patients with carotid atherosclerosis, 65% of whom were already on statin therapy with a low mean LDL of 104.9 mg/dl. Half of them were advised to follow a modified Mediterranean diet and to perform moderate physical exercise during 30 min/day (lifestyle changes) for 20 weeks. Within these two groups half of the patients were randomised either to avoid any alcohol or to drink 100 ml of red wine (women) or 200 ml of red wine (men) daily.


LDL was significantly lowered by 7% in the lifestyle-changes group compared to the no-lifestyle-changes group (p = 0.0296) after 20 weeks. Lifestyle changes lowered the LDL/HDL ratio after 20 weeks by 8% (p = 0.0242) and red wine independently by 13% (p = 0.0049). The effect on LDL/HDL ratio after 20 weeks was, however, more pronounced in the non-LC group. Total cholesterol (−6%; p = 0.0238) and triglycerides (−13%; p = 0.0361) were lowered significantly by lifestyle changes after 20 weeks compared to the no-lifestyle-changes group. Lipoprotein (a) was not significantly affected by any intervention. The given results are per ITT analysis.


Lifestyle changes including a modified Mediterranean diet and physical exercise as well as a glass of red wine daily improve independently the LDL/HDL ratio in patients with carotid arteriosclerosis even though the vast majority of them was already on statin therapy.

Trial registration webcite, NCT01146132

Alcohol; Carotid arteries; Diet; Lipids; Nutrition