New research shows that alcohol-free red wine lowers blood pressure (BP), increases antioxidant enzyme activity, lowers inflammation, and prevents atherosclerosis.
A new randomized clinical trial led by Gemma Chiva-Blanch of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain, showed that drinking dealcoholized red wine has beneficial effects on BP. Sixty-seven men at high cardiovascular risk were randomized into three groups where one group received dealcoholized red wine, another group drank red wine that contained alcohol (30g of alcohol per day), and another group drank gin (30g of alcohol per day), for four weeks. There was only a small decrease in BP after the period which examined the use of red wine with alcohol and no change after drinking gin. But there was a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic BP after the dealcoholized red wine period. The decrease in BP was linked to an increase in plasma nitric oxide (NO), a molecule that dilates blood vessels. The study was published in the journal Cardiovascular Research.
Another recent randomized study on humans showed that drinking 300 mL of alcohol-free red wine per day increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The study was led by M.A. Noguer of the H.U. Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda Biochemistry Clinic in Madrid, Spain and was published in the journal Pharmacological Research. Subjects had to first follow a diet that was low in polyphenols to prevent their effects from interfering with the study. Then during the treatment period, they followed the same diet and also added 300 mL of alcohol-free red wine per day. Subjects had a significant increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes after seven days of drinking the dealcoholized wine.
Research published in the European Journal of Nutrition also shows that dealcoholized red wine decreases the development of atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta, and decreases inflammatory molecules that are involved in cardiovascular disease. Dealcoholized white wine was less effective than the red in achieving these healthy effects.
Thus alcohol-free red wine can lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide, improve antioxidant status because of its polyphenols, and prevent dangerous changes to blood vessels by lowering inflammation.