The phenolic content in wine refers to the phenolic compounds—natural phenol and polyphenols—in wine, which include a large group of several hundred chemical compounds that affect the taste, color and mouthfeel of wine.

These compounds include phenolic acids, stilbenoids, flavonols, dihydroflavonols, anthocyanins, flavanol monomers (catechins) and flavanol polymers (proanthocyanidins).

How Polyphenols in Red Wine helps to live longer

Red wine contains a broad range of polyphenols that are present in the skin and seeds of the grapes, including resveratrol, and the flavonoids(all flavonoids are polyphenols) quercetin and catechin. Resveratrol and quercetin are the two primary compounds present in red wine that are thought to help protect against coronary heart disease.

They are both potent antioxidants that act as free radical scavengers once they enter the body, and, when taken together, they have a synergistic effect. Quercetin is known to reduce atherosclerotic plaque buildup by helping reduce the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and platelet aggregation.

Oxidation is a destructive process rendering the body more susceptible to dysfunction and disease. Resveratrol also decreases the stickiness of blood platelets, and helps blood vessels to remain open and flexible.

Like quercetin, it inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol,6 and, in addition, reduces the damage that LDL can do to the lining of blood vessels.

Researchers have demonstrated that resveratrol has a broad range of health benefits.

It has been shown to not only promote better cardiovascular health, but also to have anticancer9 and antiviral effects.10 Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit an enzyme needed for DNA synthesis involved in the proliferation of cancer cells.11-12

In another study, resveratrol was found to inhibit the replication of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in a dose-dependent, reversible manner (you don’t get the benefit after you stop taking it), to inhibit the reactivation of viruses from infected neurons, and to limit viral growth.10

Source: Polyphenols in Red Wine Protect Heart and Brain