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Dealcoholized Red Wine May Reduce Blood Pressure Better than Red Wine

Drinking non-alcoholic red wine daily may reduce the risk of heart disease by 14% and stroke by 20% by lowering blood pressure, according to recent research. These results were significantly better than those seen when alcoholic red wine was consumed.

The researchers believe that alcohol weakens wine's blood pressure lowering capabilities because it can cause blood vessels and arteries to tighten and close. However, the polyphenols that are the beneficial element in wine are still present in dealcoholized wine.

67 men with diagnoses of diabetes or with three or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease participated in the study. The participants were given 10 oz of alcoholic red wine, 10 oz of dealcoholized red wine, or 3 oz of gin daily for 4 weeks. All of the participants tried each drink intervention.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that gin had no effect on blood pressure and alcoholic wine had a limited effect. However, non-alcoholic red wine resulted in a 6 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) and a 2 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a reading).

They also found that the dealcoholized red wine increased participants’ nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax and allows more blood to reach the heart and other organs, which helps lower blood pressure.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona and Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Spain. It was published online ahead of print on September 6, 2012, in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation Research.

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body that can lead to many common diseases. Previous studies have linked polyphenol intake with a variety of health benefits, including helping with weight management, fighting certain cancers, and reducing inflammation.

Polyphenols can be found naturally in many foods, including honey, a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, chocolate, tea, certain oils and a many types of grain. A healthy and balanced diet can help ensure you consume an adequate amount of polyphenols.

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