In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

We use cookies to optimise the design of this website and make continuous improvement. By continuing your visit, you consent to the use of cookies. Learn more

What would you like to drink - gin, red wine or something non-alcoholic?

Comment by Paul Leeson, EACPR Exercise, Basic and Translational Research Section

Dealcoholized Red Wine Decreases Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure and Increases Plasma Nitric Oxide
G. Chiva-Blanch et al.
Circulation Research, published online before print September 6, 2012, doi: 10.1161/?CIRCRESAHA.112.275636


Chiva-Blanch et al. have performed a randomised, cross-over trial of gin, red wine and red wine without the alcohol to investigate the old dilemma of whether it is the ethanol or something about the other contents of alcoholic drinks that are cardioprotective.
DrinksIn this case, of particular note, is the amount of the alcoholic drinks they consumed. For four week periods, seventy three men at high risk for cardiovascular disease either took a daily dose of 30g of alcohol in the form of red wine or gin, or had the equivalent volume of alcohol-free red wine. They therefore consumed at the limit of what is considered safe in the UK.
After each four week period they had their blood pressure measured and blood samples taken to look at measures relevant to nitric oxide bioactivity. Gin and alcoholic red wine, at this level of consumption, had no significant effects on blood pressure or measures of nitric oxide activity. In contrast, the alcohol-free red wine lowered systolic blood pressure by around 5mmHg and diastolic pressures by around 2mmHg. These drops in blood pressure correlated with increases in markers of nitric oxide production.

The authors argue the blood pressure lowering therefore may relate directly to a benefit of red wine polyphenols on nitric oxide production.
Furthermore, the findings suggest the presence of alcohol must counteract these benefits. More evidence to support the drinking of red wine..…. but maybe go for the non-alcoholic version?