In recent years, wine enthusiasts have had lots to celebrate, with research revealing that wine, especially red wine, offers some significant health benefits. These include the ability to improve cholesterol levels, support cardiovascular health and even ease chronic fatigue.
Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant known as resveratrol, which in addition to providing benefits to the heart, contains anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’ve heard about these benefits but you don’t drink alcohol, you might wonder if dealcoholized wine, which is wine with the alcohol removed, still offers the same or at least similar health benefits.
It seems there is good news for those who abstain, but perhaps some not-so-great news for those who enjoy a glass now and again.
A study, conducted at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona in Spain, instructed 67 men to drink either 10 ounces of red wine, 10 ounces of non-alcoholic red wine, or 3 ounces of gin every day for four weeks. At the end of that period, each participant rotated to a different drink and repeated the process before switching again so that by the end of the study, all 67 men had been observed consuming all three drinks. Each of the men who participated had either diabetes or at least three of the following risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, excessive weight or obesity, or smoking.
The results revealed that non-alcoholic red wine was linked to a significant decrease in blood pressure, as well as a 14 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 20 percent lower risk of stroke. Traditional red wine did not appear to have similar effects.
The researchers said that even though both regular red wine with alcohol and the non-alcoholic red wine contain the same amount of heart-healthy antioxidants, the alcohol may be blocking the polyphenols from their protective benefits. This means that red wine that’s been dealcoholized may actually be more effective for protecting the heart. Of course, wine without the alcohol also means no tipsiness, headache or hangover.
The study further confirmed that among alcoholic drinks, red wine is the best choice as far as health protective benefits, but that the alcohol isn’t needed in order to get them.
If you’re thinking about switching over, keep in mind that it may not taste as good, because alcohol contributes significantly to the body, bouquet and flavor of wine – and the biggest difference is realized with red wines.
-The Alternative Daily