One of the dangers of drinking alcohol is that it can raise blood pressure. But a new study shows that wine lovers may be able to imbibe, as long as their beverage of choice is nonalcoholic. This new study, which was published in the journal Circulation Research, looked at 67 men age 66 or older, who had either had Type 2 diabetes or more than three risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, or a family history of premature coronary heart disease. After an initial two-week abstinence period, they were separated into three groups assigned to a different beverage: three ounces of gin, 10 ounces of red wine or 10 ounces of nonalcoholic red wine. When the men had done four weeks of daily consumption, they rotated to a new beverage, and then to the third beverage. After each rotation, measurements, including blood pressure, heart rate, and nitric oxide levels were taken.
The researchers found that drinking red wine or gin did not produce statistically significant blood pressure reductions, but the nonalcoholic red wine did.
In fact, the nonalcoholic red wine reduced systolic blood pressure levels by about 6 mmHg, while diastolic blood pressure levels dropped by 2 mmHg.
So if you do enjoy the taste of wine, a glass of the nonalcoholic variety will benefit your blood pressure more than an alcoholic beverage.