Can consuming red wine protect against high blood pressure?
There has been much speculation in the past about the possible benefits of red wine consumption for the cardiovascular system, but the studies to date here have come to very different assessments. However, British researchers have now clearly identified an antihypertensive effect on a special red wine molecule, which could be used for therapeutic purposes in the future. However, the required quantities could not be absorbed through the consumption of red wine.
In the current investigation by King’s College London, it was found that red wine contains a certain molecule that protects against cardiovascular diseases. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Circulation".
High blood pressure can lead to fatal diseases
Many people have problems with high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can significantly increase the risk of heart and circulatory diseases, including stroke and heart attack. High blood pressure is also associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia.
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What is resveratrol?
A molecule known as resveratrol is a compound that is produced by the peel of certain fruits for self-defense against insects, bacteria and fungi. Grapes and red wine are known to contain the above compound. During the investigation, the researchers gave mice with induced hypertension a dose of resveratrol, which relaxed the animals' blood vessels and lowered their blood pressure. The same effect was observed in experiments on muscle cells from human blood vessels. There are currently no antihypertensive drugs that use this route for treatment. The results could thus contribute to the development of new effective drugs.
Discovery could lead to a new class of blood pressure medication
“We are slowly realizing that oxidants are not always the bad guy. Our research shows that a molecule that was once considered an antioxidant exerts its beneficial effects through oxidation. We believe that many other so-called antioxidants could also work in this way, ”explains study author Dr. Joseph Burgoyne of King’s College London in a press release. “Our work could lay the foundation for chemically altering resveratrol to improve its delivery to the body, or for developing new, more effective drugs that follow the same path. In the future we could have a whole new class of blood pressure medication, ”added the expert.
Should we drink more red wine now?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to achieve the protective effect simply by consuming red wine. To get the human equivalent dose of resveratrol used here, you would need to drink an impossible amount of red wine every day. On the one hand this is not feasible at all and on the other hand it is not really advisable to try. The real value of the study is to show the surprising effects of resveratrol and the possibility of new blood pressure medications that work in a similar way. The results bring us one step closer to combating the health risk of high blood pressure. The knowledge could help prevent devastating strokes or heart attacks in the future. Although you can buy resveratrol supplements, the best way to keep your blood pressure under control is to have a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and taking the medications prescribed by your doctor, the researchers emphasize. (as)