Although there is a general consensus concerning the lower risk for cardiovascular disease in moderate drinkers, the mechanisms responsible for the cardioprotective effect of red wine remain unknown. It has been proposed that increased serum paraoxonase activity may be a mechanism of action underlying reduced cardiovascular disease risk in moderate drinkers, since paraoxonase inhibits lipoprotein oxidation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of red wine consumption on serum paraoxonase/arylesterase activities and on lipoprotein oxidizability in healthy-men. Fourteen healthy-men were included in the study. The subjects consumed 0.375 g alcohol/kg body weight for 3 weeks. Paraoxonase and arylesterase activities were studied spectrophotometrically. Oxidizability of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins were determined, after separating them with precipitation method, by incubating with copper-sulfate. Paraoxonase activity did not change, however arylesterase activity significantly decreased after red wine consumption (P < 0.01). There was a reduced susceptibility of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins to copper-sulfate induced oxidation after red wine consumption (P < 0.01). Our results support that red wine protects lipoproteins against oxidation, however there was not any significant change in serum paraoxonase activity after red wine consumption. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.