She also pointed out that other research shows red wine consumption has protective effects in atherosclerosis and cholesterol.
Would people be willing to swap their cabernets and Chiantis for an alcohol-free version, if the health benefits were confirmed?
Mayo Clinic's Hayes isn't sure. She said nonalcoholic red wine lacks the body and fullness of real red wine.
"People drink for other reasons that are complex and personal -- whether it's how you feel or it's about the complex taste. If we found that drinking de-alcoholized red wine was truly therapeutic, that it actually lowered blood pressure, I think people would probably take it as medicine," Hayes said.
Chiva-Blanch said, "It depends on the health awareness of the population. People who care about their health would be willing to switch to nonalcoholic drinks, while others would not."
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about alcohol and public health.
SOURCES: Dr. Gemma Chiva-Blanch, department of internal medicine, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain; Sharonne Hayes, M.D., cardiogist and clinic director, diversity and inclusion, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Donna Arnett, M.D., president, American Heart Association, and epidemiologist, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Sept. 6, 2012, Circulation Research online
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