UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS OF RED WINE
BioHarvest did not discover the benefits of red wine, but BioHarvest did discover a way to harness the power of nature to bring these benefits in a new form without the sugars, calories and alcohol.
Red wine has been used throughout the ages for more than just a festive drink. It has been documented as early as 2200 B.C. to be used by the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks as one of the earliest man made medicines. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, considered wine a part of a healthy diet and advocated its use as a disinfectant.(*1)
More than 136 scientific articles have been published exploring the health benefits of red wine. These were heightened during the 1990s with reports of the “French Paradox.” These publications studied how the consumption of wine may play a role in French people’s lifestyle of well-being despite consumption of a diet rich in fats.
THE VINIA BREAKTHROUGH
Building on this research, BioHarvest began when two scientists, a biologist and grape specialist, situated within a progressive lab of the Minister of Agriculture in Israel, focused on further researching the benefits of wine and, also, uncovering a way to offer an alternative to wine without the excessive sugar and alcohol.
In 2001, their beliefs were confirmed when an important article was published in a prestigious scientific peer review journal “Nature” (“Endothelin-1 synthesis reduced by red wine”)(*2). This article showed, for the first time, that the polyphenols found in wine, like Resveratrol, Tannins and Quercetin, were linked to inhibiting the synthesis of endothelin-1(ET-1), which should hinder the constriction of blood vessels.
The scientists’ breakthrough came from nature, focusing on grapes which are source of polyphenols. Their discovery was a paradigm shift on how to leverage nature through science, growing red grape cells in a nutrient solution (not soil) and cultivating them into a fine powder without using genetic engineering (Non-GMO). This powder was found to be source of polyphenols (40 mg) but without sugar, calories and alcohol found in wine and grapes.
Growing VINIA was just the start of the revolutionary scientific journey. The next, most important, step was validating that VINIA provided similar benefits as drinking red wine.
UNDERSTANDING ENDOTHELIAL CELLS
Arteries carry oxygen and nutrient rich blood throughout the body. They are lined by a thin layer of cells called the endothelium. Endothelial cells work to keep the inside of arteries smooth and keep blood flowing balancing the production of two important proteins:
● eNOS – which produces nitric oxide (NO), a molecule, that leads to the dilation of blood vessels and allows for greater blood flow (vasodilator).
● Endothelin-1 (ET-1) – which constrict blood vessels (vasoconstrictor). Increasing eNOS helps produce NO to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, thus resulting in vasodilation and allowing greater blood flow.
Increasing ET-1 will constrict the blood vessels and decrease blood flow.
PROOF OF PRINCIPLE: HEALTHY BLOOD CIRCULATION
First, an in-vitro study was conducted exposing endothelial cells (HUVEC; Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells) to VINIA.
● In a laboratory study (Leibovitz et al. 2014(*3)), it was found that treating endothelial cells with VINIA increased eNOS levels in a concentration-dependent manner. Researchers showed that VINIA boosted the levels of nitric oxide. At the same time VINIA inhibited the ET-1 secretion.
The next step was to assess the impact of VINIA on endothelial in humans, evaluated using Flow- Mediated Vasodilation (FMD), confirming that NO is a mediator of FMD.
FMD of the brachial artery is a noninvasive ultrasound method to assess endothelial function, which has been proposed to represent endothelium-derived NO availability in humans. People with low NO have blood vessels with a decreased capacity to dilate in response to certain stimuli, compared to those with normal endothelial function. FMD was evaluated by BioHarvest in a double blind, placebo controlled clinical study:
In a clinical study (Vaisman et al., 2015)(*4), VINIA was tested with 50 participants who consumed VINIA 200 or 400 mg /d or placebo for 12 weeks. FMD was significantly increased for the 400 mg group compare to the baseline. There was no significant change in the 200 mg group.
PROOF OF PRINCIPLE: SUPPORT OF NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE
Just as NO is a well-established mediator for FMD, it is also a mediator for blood pressure. BioHarvest conducted one pre-clinical trial (rats) and two clinical (human) studies:
● In a pre-clinical study (Leibowitz et al., 2014), VINIA was tested in a model in which rats fed with high-fructose diet developed increased systolic blood pressure (BP). Rats fed on high-fructose diet for 5 weeks were given VINIA at different concentrations in the last 2 weeks. VINIA supplementation significantly attenuated the increase of systolic BP as compared to control.
● A clinical study with 50 healthy participants who consumed VINIA for 12 weeks showed that diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced in the group receiving 200 mg as compared to placebo. (Vaisman et al., 2015) iv
● A clinical study on VINIA consumption by 45 cyclists who consumed 200 or 1000 mg VINIA daily for 6 weeks was performed. The diastolic blood pressure was significantly decreased in the 200 mg and 1000 mg groups in comparison to the baseline. (Article will be sent to peer reviewed journal for future publication)
PROOF OF PRINCIPLE: ANTI-OXIDANT ACTIVITY
● In a clinical study, the effect of VINIA consumption on blood oxidation was tested on subjects consumed VINIA 200 ,400 mg /d or placebo for 12 weeks (Vaisman et al., 2015) iv. Post hoc analysis comparing the combined treatment VINIA groups to baseline showed significant protection on blood lipid oxidation as measured by lipid peroxides formation (Vaisman et al., 2015 iv) after 12 weeks.
(*2) “Endothelin-1 synthesis reduced by red wine,” Corder et al. NATURE, Vol 414, 20/27 December 2001
(*3) “Red Grape Berry Cultured Cells Reduce Blood Pressure in Rats with Metabolic Syndrome”, 2014. Eur J Nutr.; 53(3):973-80, Leibowitz A, M.D., Faltin Z, M.Sc.,Perl A, Ph.D.b Eshdat Y, Ph.D., Hagay Y, Ph.D., Peleg E, Ph.D., Grossman E, M.D.
(*4) “Daily consumption of red grape cell powder in a dietary dose improves cardiovascular parameters: a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study”, 2015. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 66(3):342-966(3):342-9,Nachum Vaisman and Eva Niv.