Men who have high risk for heart disease can lower their blood pressure by just consuming some amount of non-alcoholic red wine every day, researchers from the University of Alabama and the Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center have found.
They found that non-alcoholic red wine increases nitric oxide, which helps reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among cardiac patients.
Nitric oxide is a molecule in the body that helps blood vessels relax and allows more blood to reach your heart and organs.
To find out the effectiveness of the non-alcoholic wine, researchers had conducted a study on 67 men aged 55 or older with diabetes or had higher risk of cardiac disease.
The participants were given about 10 ounces of red wine or non-alcoholic red wine or about three ounces of gin. All of the men tried each diet/beverage combination for four weeks. After this, their blood pressure was measured.
The study found that the participants showed very little reduction in blood pressure during the red wine phase and there was no change after drinking gin.
However, researchers found that the participants' blood pressure decreased by about 6mmHg in systolic and 2mmHg in diastolic blood pressure after consuming non-alcoholic red wine. They claim that the participants' risk of developing heart disease was reduced by 14 percent and stroke by as much as 20 percent during this phase, according to the findings published in Circulation Research journal.
Researchers claim that one reason blood pressure fell during the red wine and non-alcoholic red wine stage is because red wine and non-alcoholic wine contain equal amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant that cuts blood pressure.
"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-alcoholised red wine was truly therapeutic, that it actually lowered blood pressure, I think people would probably take it as medicine," said Dr Sharonne Hayes, cardiologist at Mayo Clinic.
"It depends on the health awareness of the population. People who care about their health would be willing to switch to non-alcoholic drinks, while others would not," said Gemma Chiva-Blanch, researcher at the department of internal medicine at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.