Why Does Alcohol Cause Hypertension
Alcoholic beverages are regular drinks in most parts of the world. If consumed in little to moderate amounts, alcohol can be healthy for most individuals. However, drinking too much alcohol can create many problems including an increase in blood pressure. Having more than three drinks back-to-back can increase your blood pressure temporarily, but if you keep doing it frequently, you may develop a long-term condition called hypertension .
- Damage to the endothelium
- Effect on the nervous system
- Changes in sensations of blood pressure receptors in the body
- Increase in cortisol
- Increased calcium levels in the walls of the arteries
- Effect on hormones that constrict and relax the arteries
Heavy alcohol drinking increases blood pressure by about 5 to 10 mmHg and the increase in systolic pressure is more than that in diastolic blood pressure.
What Is Blood Pressure And How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect It
Blood pressure is simply a measurement of the fluid pressure in your blood vessels. When the heart muscle contracts, there is a blood pressure measurement known as systolic blood pressure. When the heart relaxes, the measurement is known as diastolic.
Together, systolic and diastolic numbers are combined to indicate a blood pressure reading. Years of experience and clinical studies have provided the medical community with a solid understanding of what numbers are good, indicating a lower blood pressure, and what numbers are high, meaning a high blood pressure.
It is well known that alcohol abuse can raise blood pressure. Whether alcohol use is daily heavy drinking, or if the person drinking alcohol only engages in occasional binge-drinking, blood vessels can be affected.
Myth: Red Wine Lowers Cholesterol
Fact: Keeping your cholesterol within a healthy range is important if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease.
According to a study published in Clinical Nutrition, red wine increases good cholesterol. On the flip side, nonalcoholic red wine decreases levels of bad cholesterol. LDL levels stayed the same in people who drank the alcoholic red wine, so keep this in mind when you order a glass with dinner.
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Overconsumption Can Have Adverse Effects
Red wine vinegar may have a few downsides.
Daily consumption over several years has been shown to increase your risk of negative effects .
For example, drinking too much vinegar can worsen digestive symptoms, such as nausea, indigestion, and heartburn. It may also affect certain blood pressure and heart medications by lowering potassium levels, which can further reduce blood pressure (
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Do People Who Practice The Sinclair Method Have Improved Blood Pressure As They Reduce Their Alcohol Intake
Does TSM reduce blood pressure? The Sinclair Method is unique in that it helps people to gradually cut back on alcohol intake with the help of the medication, naltrexone.
We know that quitting alcohol will help with improving blood pressure. What happens if a person goes from consuming many alcoholic drinks daily to just drinking one or two drinks daily?
So far, there have not been specific studies on people following TSM with respect to their blood pressure. One advantage associated with TSM is that the alcoholic does not have to quit cold turkey.
Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be traumatic to the body, leading to anxiety, stress, and dramatically increased blood pressure. We would expect the more gentle reduction of alcohol consumption with TSM would result in less stress to the system, and less risk of cardiovascular events overall.
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Agreements And Disagreements With Other Studies Or Reviews
We are aware of one systematic review on effects of alcohol on blood pressure that was published in 2005 . included both randomised and nonrandomised studies with a minimum of 24 hours of blood pressure observation after alcohol consumption. This systematic review searched only the MEDLINE database for relevant studies, hence it was not exhaustive. Review authors included nine studies involving a total of 119 participants, and the duration of these studies was between four and seven days. Participants in those studies consumed alcohol regularly during the study period, whereas in our systematic review, we included only studies in which participants consumed alcohol for a short period. Based on nine studies, reported that the mean increase in SBP was 2.7 mmHg and in DBP was 1.4 mmHg. Only three of these studies measured BP at various time points and found that alcohol has a hypotensive effect lasting up to five hours after alcohol consumption and a hypertensive effect 20 hours after alcohol consumption that lasts until the next day. These findings are consistent with our results. However, the reported early reduction in BP was 11. 6 mmHg for SBP and 7.9 mmHg for DBP in . These estimates are almost twice as large as our results. The inclusion of nonrandomised studies in , which are known to be at higher risk of bias, is likely the reason for the discrepancy in the magnitude of BP effects.
Researchers Have Discovered A Link Between Eating Foods Rich In Flavonoids And Lower Blood Pressure
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Red wine is rich in flavonoids
A few glasses of red wine a week can help avoid high blood pressure, according to a new study.
Researchers from Queens University in Belfast working with Germanys Kiel University have found a link between lower blood pressure and a higher intake of foods rich in flavonoids, including berries, apples, tea and red wine.
Professor Aedin Cassidy, chair and professor in nutrition and preventive medicine at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queens, was lead investigator in the study of more than 900 adults in Germany, the results of which have been published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.
While mounting research has shown flavonoids can improve heart health, the study team said this was the first time data has explained their link to lowering blood pressure.
Researchers said the study had focused on the role played by microbes in the gut microbiome in metabolising flavonoids found in the aforementioned foods and drinks, which then worked to bring down blood pressure.
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Sympathetic Nervous System In Alcohol
Several studies reported increased sympathetic nervous system activation and discharge of sympathetic amines after alcohol consumption. Alcohol may cause hypertension by affecting the autonomic nervous system. However, alterations in the sympatho-adrenal function that occur during ageing may cause older people to have a different reaction to factors triggering their autonomic system than do younger individuals. The increased sympathetic outflow is expected not only to induce adrenoreceptor-mediated reactions but to stimulate oxidation reactions. Direct recordings of sympathetic-nerve activity suggest that short-term alcohol ingestion in humans and both short and long-term administration of ethanol in rats stimulates sympathetic-nerve discharge. Moreover, in rats the alcohol-induced increases in blood pressure and sympathetic activity is centrally mediated. It is possible that alcohol may stimulate adrenals to release adrenaline, resulting in increased heart rate cardiac output and systolic blood pressure. Randin et al have also reported that alcohol induces hypertension in rats by sympathetic activation that appears to be centrally mediated. This mechanism is also likely being implicated in alcohol-induced hypertension.
What Are The Benefits Of Red Wine For High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition in which the force of blood against your artery walls is too high. Eventually, uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart failure. In addition to blood pressure medications and lifestyle changes, red wine may be an appropriate supplement to improve your blood pressure. Before drinking red wine, consult your physician to make sure that the alcohol in red wine will not alter the effects of your medications.
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What Causes High Blood Pressure
There isnt always a clear explanation as to why someones blood pressure is high. However, there are several factors that can play a part in increasing the risks of developing hypertension:
- Regularly drinking alcohol beyond the low-risk guidelines
- Not doing enough exercise
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What If I Dont Like Red Wine Any Alcohol Will Do
If red wine really isnt your cup of tea, you can get resveratrol in plenty of other foods and drinks too. Red grapes and grape juice are the obvious ones. However, any of the red, blue and purple coloured fruits tend to contain resveratrol and other powerful antioxidants. You can even mix your red wine with a little red grape juice and/or throw in some berries to make it all a bit more fruity. Frozen berries and juice mixed with red wine make a lovely cooling sangria in the summer.
Theres also some evidence that just the alcohol in alcoholic drinks is beneficial for the heart and blood pressure in moderate amounts of course See also our post on alcohol and blood pressure for the details: alcohol and high blood pressure
For more foods and drinks which arent as bad for your blood pressure as you might have thought, click here to download our free report: Eat, Drink and Be Merry .
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Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure
In fact, alcohol actually raises blood pressure. In this study, 40 male rats were fed either a high fructose diet or a high fructose diet that was supplemented with different doses of red grape berry cells. However, excessive drinking can lead to a host of health problems, including liver damage, obesity, some types of cancer and stroke, not to mention its negative effect on the heart.
High Blood Pressure From Alcohol Consumption
A number of factors can contribute to high blood pressure, including alcohol consumption.
High blood pressure is a common health issue in the U.S. that, if not controlled, can increase the risk of serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure.
In the U.S., about 75 million adults have high blood pressure and it accounts for an estimated 54% of all strokes and 47% of all ischemic heart disease events.1,2 Alcohol use can contribute to high blood pressure.
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Many Factors Drive Blood Pressure
But he pointed out that this is an observational study, so it cant show for certain the health benefits or harms of moderate drinking.
For that, youd need a randomized controlled trial, in which groups of people are assigned to drink a certain amount of alcohol each day for months or years.
For example, people who drink lightly or abstain may also tend to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep all of which can lower their blood pressure.
Grayver said the type of alcohol that people drink could also make a difference. Red wine, for instance, is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, which may also impact heart health.
And what you eat with your glass of beer or wine or shot of whiskey can affect your blood pressure, too.
All of the pretzels, peanuts, and other snacks that go along with alcohol consumption have a significant amount of salt in them, said Grayver. That in itself could be driving the hypertension.
Even news stories that talk about the heart benefits of alcohol may play a part.
It is possible that once someone receives a diagnosis of hypertension, they may then be incentivized to drink alcohol in moderate amounts, said Marcus.
In a 2015 study, Marcus and his colleagues found that people who believed that alcohol is heart healthy were more likely to drink more, compared to those who thought otherwise.
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I Have High Blood Pressure Can I Still Drink Wine
Q: I have high blood pressure. Can I still drink wine?
A: High blood pressure, or hypertension, refers to a condition in which blood is pumped through the circulatory system at a force that could potentially damage the heart. Because several different factors, from genetics to lifestyle habits, can cause high blood pressure, you should consult a physician before making any change in your diet and alcohol consumption.
Having said that, researchers at the School of Public Health at Wuhan University in China recently conducted a meta-analysis of nine previous studies that address the relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure. Their analysis looked at data from more than 400,000 individuals, categorizing them into four groups based on their volume of alcohol consumption. Overall, the risk for heart problems was lower for those who drank more alcohol. The authors of that paper concluded that among those who have hypertension, drinking low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol seems to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or of all-cause mortality.
Other studies, however, have found that alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, raises blood pressure temporarily, and chronic binge drinking may lead to longterm problems with hypertension. Much of this research, however, has not distinguished wine from other forms of alcohol wine is likely cardioprotective in some ways that other types of alcoholic beverages are not.
Ive Read That Red Wine Is Heart Healthy
Additionally, low blood pressure is usually not a long-term health problem like high blood pressure. Even people with low blood pressure can develop hypertension from alcohol use. Dose-response relationship between alcohol use and blood pressure among drivers of commercial vehicles in Calabar, Southern Nigeria. The contribution of a moderate intake of alcohol to the presence of hypertension. Tsai JC, Yang HY, Wang WH, Hsieh MH, Chen PT, Kao CC, Kao PF, Wang CH, Chan P. The beneficial effect of regular endurance exercise training on blood pressure and quality of life in patients with hypertension. Bannan LT, Potter JF, Beevers DG, Saunders JB, Walters JR, Ingram MC. Effect of alcohol withdrawal on blood pressure, plasma renin activity, aldosterone, cortisol and dopamine beta-hydroxylase.
Do Beets Lower Blood Pressure
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Summary Of Main Results
Effects of lowdose alcohol consumption
Lowdose alcohol consumption had no effect on blood pressure within six hours, but we found only two trials that studied this dose and no trials that assessed BP after six hours. Lowdose alcohol increased heart rate within six hours, suggesting that even one glass of wine increases HR. Unfortunately, we found no studies measuring HR more than six hours after the dose.
Effects of mediumdose alcohol consumption
Mediumdose alcohol decreased systolic blood pressure by 5.6 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 4 mmHg within the first six hours of consumption. Although the hypotensive effect of alcohol seemed to last up to 12 hours after drinking alcohol, and the effect was lost after 13 hours, the result was based on only four trials reporting intermediate and late effects of alcohol on BP.
Heart rate was increased by 4.6 bpm six hours after drinking alcohol compared to placebo. Intermediate and late effects of the medium dose of alcohol on HR were based on only four trials and were not statistically different compared to placebo.
Effects of highdose alcohol consumption
Highdose alcohol consumption increased HR by approximately 6 bpm in participants, and the effect lasted up to 12 hours. After that, HR was still raised in participants, but it averaged 2.7 bpm.
Possible mechanisms to explain the results
Many interrelated changes are possibly responsible for the biphasic effect of alcohol on blood pressure.
Risk Of Bias In Included Studies
Refer to and for the overall ‘Risk of bias’ assessment.
Risk of bias graph: review authors’ judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies.
We independently assessed risk of bias by following the methods described in Chapter 8 of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions . We assessed the risk of bias based on 11 domains: random sequence generation , allocation concealment , blinding of participants and personnel , blinding of outcome assessment , incomplete outcome data , selective reporting for systolic blood pressure , selective reporting for diastolic blood pressure , selective reporting for mean arterial blood pressure , selective reporting for heart rate , other bias , and other bias . We classified each domain as being at low, high, or uncertain risk of bias.
In the case of disagreement, a third party was involved to discuss and resolve the disagreement. In the case of uncertain information regarding the method of RCT, we contacted study authors via email to request clarification. Refer to for further details regarding reasons and responses.
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What Is Hypertension
Blood pressure is the force exerted by your blood flowing on the walls of your arteriestubular structures that carry blood to different parts of your body.
This means that your blood pressure is determined by both the amount of blood your heart pumps through your bodys arteries as well as the amount of resistance to this blood flow.
When your arteries are healthy and dilated, the resistance to blood flow is low, and blood flows easily through your body.
But when your arteries are too narrow or stiff, resistance to blood flow increases, and therefore, your blood pressure rises.
This causes your heart to work harder than normal to pump blood through the body.
The extra work thickens the muscles of your heart and further hardens or damages artery walls.