Red wine has been associated with heart-health benefits. But what if you don't drink alcohol? Spanish researchers have discovered that nonalcoholic red wine can be of benefit, too. A new study suggests that antioxidants, called polyphenols, in red wine may help lower blood pressure in men with high cardiovascular risk—only when it's consumed in nonalcoholic wine.
In the study, 67 men, ages 55 to 75, drank about 9 ounces of nonalcoholic red wine every day for four weeks, resulting in a drop in their systolic pressure (the top number) by about 6 mm Hg and their diastolic pressure by 2 mm Hgwhich translates to a 14 to 20 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
When they drank red wine with alcohol, however, they saw no significant drop in blood pressure. The researchers think the alcohol in red wine counteracts the polyphenols' benefits (too much alcohol can raise blood pressure), but they stress that longer-term studies are needed.
Source: Clinical Research, vol. 111, p. 1065; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50