Whiskey & Ellagic Acid
Forgive me. I sometimes must insert my 'dry humor' (not to be confused with that wet type
of British heritage).
You have got to wonder about British Scientists. For example, look at this study on "The
effect of whisky and wine consumption on total phenol content and antioxidant capacity of plasma
from healthy volunteers" by G G Duthie, M W Pedersen, P T Gardner, P C Morrice, A McE Jenkinson, D
B McPhail, and G M Steele.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY:
Objective: To assess whether consumption of 100 ml of whisky or red wine by healthy male
subjects increased plasma total phenol content and antioxidant capacity....
Specifically the study is about the nature and relative bioavailability of the phenolics in the
beverages. For example, the dominant phenolic in whisky is ellagic acid (Piggott et al, 1989)
whereas red wine contains significant quantities of catechin-derivatives......
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 52,
733 - 736 (30 Sep 1998) Original Communication
The Study Design: A Latin square arrangement to eliminate ordering effects whereby, after an
overnight fast, nine volunteers consumed 100 ml of red wine, malt whisky or unmatured 'new make'
spirit. Each volunteer participated on three occasions one week apart, consuming one of the
beverages each time. Blood samples were obtained from the anticubital vein at intervals up to 4
hours after consumption of the beverages when a urine sample was also obtained.
Results: Within 30 min of consumption of the wine and whisky, there was a similar and
significant increase in plasma total phenol content and antioxidant capacity as determined by the
ferric reducing capacity of plasma (FRAP). No changes were observed following consumption of 'new
Conclusions: Consumption of phenolic-containing alcoholic beverages transiently raises total
phenol concentration and enhances the antioxidant capacity of plasma. This is compatible with
suggestions that moderate alcohol usage and increased antioxidant intake decrease the risk of
coronary heart disease.
Sponsorship: Funded by the Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department
(SOAEFD), the ERASMUS exchange program, the EC-Fair program and the Scotch Whisky Research
JD's strange humor surfaces.
Now you absolutely have to love the conclusion folks. The Scotch Malt Whiskey has the same
antioxidant effect as the 'French' red wine. And since the phenolic in Whiskey is Ellagic Acid, and we know how
good that is, this obviously justifies 100 ml (approximately 3 ounces) of whiskey, 3 times a week,
for our health.
Overheard at our house…..
"What are you doing
of course I'm taking my ellagic acid 'medicine' ….hic…"
PS: Did you note the researchers? Scotch Whiskey
Research Institute….wonder where their funding comes from?
What WILL the British do
to justify their national pastime???