Red wine can counteract harmful effects of smoking cigarettes

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By Sean Dowling, Buzz60

A new study shows a glass of red wine can counteract negative short-term effects of smoking. However, that's only the case if you drink some vino before lighting up.

German researchers from the University of Saarland looked at 20 healthy non-smokers to investigate the effects of smoking on the blood and arteries.

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Half of the participants drank red wine an hour before smoking three cigarettes. The other half simply puffed without a drink.

RELATED: Types of wine and where they come from

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Types of wine and where they come from
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Types of wine and where they come from

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes originated in France. 

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The earliest known use of the Merlot grape was in France. It is now the most widely planted red wine grape in the world. 

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Pinot noir grapes are most often associated with France. 

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While Chardonnay's origin is in France, the grapes are now grown worldwide. 

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Moscato is made from the Muscat grape which originated in Italy. 

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Pinot grigio is an Italian creation from the Pinot gris grape. 

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Malbec is a celebrated Argentinian wine. 

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The French Sauvignon blanc grapes are grown worldwide, especially in France, Chile, Australia, South Africa and California. 

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Shiraz is blended from the DNA of various French grapes.

(Photo by Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Gewurztraminer grapes originate in Germany and flourish in colder climates. 

(Photo by Andreas-Saldavs via Getty)

Riesling grapes originated in Germany's Rhine region. 

(Photo by David Rigg via Getty)

Zinfandel grapes have similar DNA to several Croatian grapes, and are grown heavily in California. 

(Photo by Andreas-Saldavs via Getty)

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All participants had blood and urine samples collected before and after drinking and smoking.

The study points out smoking releases micro-particles into the bloodstream, which indicates blood vessels are being damaged.

However, those cellular changes didn't occur in those who drank red wine before lighting up.

Red wine also halted telomerase activity, which is a genetic aging process that accelerates after smoking.

Those who smoked without drinking red wine had a 56 percent decrease in telomerase activity, but by only 20% for those who drank.

Now, that's not to say red wine will totally resolve the negative effects that come with smoking.

Researchers said they are not sure if the findings would apply to regular smokers.

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