Should I Drink Wine To Lower Blood Pressure?

By Chrisitan Goodman

I recently had dinner with some good friends and noticed that "Jane" was drinking red wine. At first I thought it was a joke, as Jane had more than once complained that she did not like the taste of red wine and in fact, preferred white wine.

Jane told me that she'd recently read that drinking red wine is beneficial to one's health, specifically, the heart.

This was not news to me. I've known for years that research has proven some health benefits to drinking red wine in moderation. By moderation, I mean one glass per day for women and two per day for men.

I've read studies dealing specifically with Mediterranean countries. The studies' participants all had high fat diets but low LDL (bad) cholesteral and high HDL (good) cholesteral. They also reported lowered blood pressure. Researchers found that what each participant had in common was the fact that they all drank red wine in moderation.

It is believed that there are 2 antioxidants in the red wine grape (seeds and skin) called resveratrol and flavonoids. Unlike white wine, skin and seeds are included in the fermentation process of red wine. Red wine, therefore, contains more of these antioxidants than white wine.

Resveratrol is responsible for raising HDL cholesterol. This helps prevent blood clots. Flavonoids help prevent plaque from forming in arteries, in addition to helping prevent blood clots.

New studies, however, including both white wine and other types of alcohol, have shown similar results. One study even suggested the benefits of white wine to red, because the molecules in white wine are smaller than in red and can be more easily absorbed in the body.

Yes, yes - we always want to hear that traditionally bad habits are now good for us and that is why we secretly kept at them even though our doctors warned us of the dangers of abuse. I for one, though, can't stress enough about moderation in drinking.

In every study, researchers are quick to point out that only drinking in moderation will produce any health benefits. In fact, they go on to say that alcohol abuse will cause far more devastating health problems than benefits.

Drinking in excess can lead to alcohol addiction, obesity, high blood pressure and damage to the major organs including the liver and heart. If you don't already drink alcohol, research indicates you shouldn't. If you drink in moderation, stay with moderation.

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