Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Men who have a high risk for heart disease have lower blood pressure after drinking non-alcohol red wine, according to a study published in the journal Circulation Research.
Researchers from University of Barcelona, Spain found that non-alcoholic red wine increased participants’ levels of nitric oxide, which helped to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Nitric oxide is a molecule in the body that helps blood vessels relax, while also allowing more blood to reach your heart and organs.
The team studied 67 men with diabetes or three or more cardiovascular risk factors who ate a common diet, plus drank either 10 ounces of red wine, non-alcohol red wine, or about three ounces of gin. All of the men tried each diet or beverage combination for a four week period.
Both the red wine and nonalcoholic wine contained an equal amount of polyphenols, which is an antioxidant that decreases blood pressure.
The men had little reduction in blood pressure during the red wine phase, while there was no change when drinking gin. But after drinking nonalcoholic red wine, the team found that the men’s blood pressure decreased by about 6mmHg in systolic and 2mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
Ultimately, the team says that drinking nonalcoholic wine reduced the risk of heart disease by 14 percent, and stroke by as much as 20 percent.
The team found that the alcohol in red wine weakens its ability to lower blood pressure, but polyphenols are still present when the alcohol is removed.
“The non-alcoholic part of the wine — namely polyphenols — exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system,” researcher Ramon Estruch, MD, PhD of the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, said in a statement.. “Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may be useful to prevent other disease such as diabetes.”
Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said this is good news for those who do not want to drink alcohol.
“Certain people don´t want to drink alcohol, so here we have an alternative way for them to get the heart health benefits,” she told Denise Mann of WebMD. “It´s not so much the alcohol as it is the polyphenols in red wine.”