THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- While some say it's not as flavorful as the real thing, drinking nonalcoholic red wine might help lower blood pressure in men at high risk for heart disease.
Middle-aged and older men who drank moderate amounts of de-alcoholized red wine daily for four weeks had drops in systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure, according to a small new study by Spanish researchers.
"In the context of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle, daily consumption of de-alcoholized red wine can help prevent hypertension," said study author Gemma Chiva-Blanch, at the department of internal medicine at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.
The study was published online Sept. 6 in the journal Circulation Research.
The nonalcoholic wine drinkers also showed increased levels of nitric oxide -- a molecule in the blood that previous studies have linked with improving blood-vessel health and lowering blood pressure.
While some studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, others suggest red wine in particular is beneficial, possibly because it's rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants linked with lowering blood pressure.
Though it is well-documented that binge and heavy drinking are bad for blood pressure, the effect of moderate alcohol consumption has been unclear, the authors said.
The study "compares the effects of red wine and a nonalcoholic red wine with identical composition -- except for the alcohol content -- in the same subjects," Chiva-Blanch said. The scientists also analyzed gin's effect.
Participants were 67 men aged 55 or older who either had type 2 diabetes or more than three risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, or a family history of premature coronary
All rights reserved