Nonalcoholic Red Wine May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Men with high risk for heart disease had lower blood pressure after drinking nonalcoholic red wine every day for four weeks, according to a new study in Circulation Research.

Nonalcoholic red wine increased participants' levels of nitric oxide, which helped decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, researchers said. Nitric oxide is a molecule in the body that helps blood vessels relax and allows more blood to reach your heart and organs.

Researchers studied 67 men with diabetes or three or more cardiovascular risk factors who ate a common diet plus one of the following drinks: about 10 oz of red wine, nonalcoholic red wine, or about 3 oz of gin. All of the men tried each diet/beverage combination for 4 weeks.

The red wine and nonalcoholic wine contained equal amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant that decreases blood pressure.

During the red wine phase, the men had very little reduction in blood pressure and there was no change while drinking gin. However, after drinking non-alcoholic red wine, blood pressure decreased by about 6 mm Hg in systolic and 2 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure—possibly reducing the risk of heart disease by 14% and stroke by as much as 20%.

Researchers concluded that the alcohol in red wine weakens its ability to lower blood pressure. But polyphenols—still present after alcohol is removed from wine—are likely the beneficial element in wine.

Source: American Heart Association