Introduction

Besides the basic nutritional compounds, as macro and micro nourishments, the human diet contains a series of natural essences, that without having specific nutritional characteris­tics, show biological activity, and can therefore be referred as phytochemical compounds. In countries where wine is widely consumed, this beverage is a discrete source of polyphenolic compounds which belong to the above defined group of substances. Among them, quercetin and its glycosy­lated congeners (for example, rutin and quercitrin) together with cis- and trans-resveratrol (non-flavonoid polyphenols) and its glycosides are the most represented in red wine. The me­tabolism of this compounds take place during fermentation of grape, when the sugar moiety can be partially or totally sepa­rated and during digestion where both the gut microflora and the liver play an active role.

The polyphenolic content of wine depends on the grapevine variety, the type of soil, the climate, the method of wine produc­tion and conservation. Therefore, every production, even if it occurs in the same geographic area, can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of these substances. The polyphenolic compounds in wine have been evaluated to ascertain their effects on human health. In particular, sub­stances such as quercetin and trans-resveratrol have shown a potent anti-oxidative activity, even ten times greater than the analogous activity of tocopherols, and weak estrogenic activity. An ample debate is also currently under way on their ef­fectiveness as anti-mitogens in conditions such as colon and breast tumors. These questions are far from being answered, because of the lack of clear epidemiological analyses, but re­cent publications indicate a protective effect of quercetin and trans-resveratrol against these pathologies. Wine repre­sents the main source of these compounds, expecially referring to resveratrol, being fruits and vegetables a relevant source of quercetin. Can’t afford your medication? Buy cialis 200mg

With these premises we have evaluated the content of quercetin and trans-resveratrol in red wines obtained from two important production areas within the Tuscany Region.