Can Drinking Red Wine Stop High Blood Pressure?

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

It’s fairly well-known that drinking a moderate amount of red wine can offer numerous health benefits. One study showed that the compounds in red wine protect your body from oxidation, which prevents certain types of cancer and offers protect from depression. Even earlier studies showed that this very popular beverage, which is made from grapes of darker colors, can even protect us from heart disease and improve our overall cardiovascular health.

If that isn’t enough reason to enjoy some wine with dinner, a new study has given us yet another reason to drink red wine. This study, recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that the red grapes, from which wine gets its start, can lower blood pressure. This suggests that red wine is a great way to treat one of Western world’s biggest killers; hypertension, or high blood pressure. Find out 8 things to eat to naturally lower blood pressure.

In this study, 40 male rats were fed either a high fructose diet or a high fructose diet that was supplemented with different doses of red grape berry cells. The amounts were 200, 400, and 800mg/kg of body weight per day, over a 5 week period. The rats’ blood pressure, plasma triglycerides, adiponectin, and insulin levels were measured at the beginning of the trial then again after 3 weeks and then again after 5 weeks. The red grape cells’ effects on vasodilation were also monitored.

Rats that were fed the high fructose diet all had significant increases in their blood pressure adiponectin, triglyceride, plasma, and insulin levels. Rats in the second group also experienced these same high levels; however, the red grape cell supplements stabilized the levels at one point. These rats also experienced a positive effect on the widening of blood vessels, which is vital for lowering blood pressure. Researchers believe that the red grape cells improved metabolic parameters and decreased blood pressure levels.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Resveratrol, one of the compounds mentioned by the researchers in their closing statement, deserves extra attention, since this is the compound responsible for the health benefits of red wine. This is a natural phenol, which you can buy as a supplement, but it found in red grapes. It has been shown in earlier tests to trigger cancer cell death, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and prevent insulin resistance in the body. Some scientists believe that red wine (and the resveratrol that’s in it) can help you live longer. People in the Mediterranean drink red wine regularly and they have the longest life spans of anyone in Europe.

You should not that it’s not the alcohol in wine that is good for you, but rather the resveratrol and other antioxidant compounds in red wine that are good for your health. See more what wine is.

One research study done in Spain studied 67 men with three or more cardiovascular risk factors had lower blood pressure after drinking non-alcoholic red wine every day for a four week period.

Researchers suggest that drinking non-alcoholic red wine could cut the risk of heart disease by 14 percent and the risk of stroke by as much as 20 percent.

Of course, if wine does not appeal to you, you can always eat fresh, organic red grapes. Don’t spit out the seeds, either, as grape seeds also have their own set of health benefits. Simply swallow them whole.

The study performed in Spain was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research.

So have some organic red grapes as a snack or drink a glass of red wine with dinner. No matter how you look at it, there are healthy heart benefits to be had, including a decrease in blood pressure.

Sources:

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Mayoclinic.org

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