Drinking red wine just keeps getting better as a new study suggests that fermented grape juice can lower blood pressure. According to the study, a diet featuring foods and drinks rich in flavonoids could be beneficial in the long run.
Found in foods like berries, apples, and grains – as well as tea and, obviously, red wine – scientists have been interested in whether flavonoid compounds could lower the risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease for some time now.
Professor Aedin Cassidy, chair and professor in nutrition and preventive medicine at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, led the study, where scientists assessed the impact of a flavonoid-rich diet on blood pressure by monitoring more than 900 adults in Germany.
The team behind the study said it was the first time data has explained the link between the compounds and a low risk of hypertension, adding to a body of evidence about the health benefits of flavonoids. Researchers said the study focused on the role played by microbes in the gut microbiome in metabolising flavonoids found in food and drinks, which then worked to bring down blood pressure.
“Our gut microbiome plays a key role in metabolising flavonoids to enhance their cardioprotective effects, and this study provides evidence to suggest these blood pressure-lowering effects are achievable with simple changes to the daily diet,” said Cassidy. “As always, moderation is key. The study found some three glasses of red wine per week was the required dose for achieving the desired result on blood pressure, while 80 grams of berries a day was also found to be beneficial.”
The results were published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.
In July, peer-reviewed journal BMC Medicine published a new study that asserts that light-to-moderate drinking could be beneficial to one’s health, including for those with heart disease.