What You Should Do
If youre interested in lowering your blood pressure, Dr. Bhatt says drinking non-alcoholic red wine wont hurt. I wouldnt ever make a clinical recommendation based on just one small study. However, if you happen to like non-alcoholic red wine and drink it anyway, it might be worthwhile to see if it helps your high blood pressure, he says.
But dont count on non-alcoholic red wine to lower high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, cautions Dr. Bhatt. Most people need a combination of exercise, a healthy diet, and medications to control high blood pressure.
Moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week and following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet can powerfully lower blood pressure, sometimes making medicines unnecessary. DASH is an eating plan featuring more fruits, vegetables and whole grains foods with nutrients known to help reduce blood pressure, like calcium, potassium and magnesium and reduced sodium and saturated fat intake.
High blood pressure is a big problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that a third of all Americans have high blood pressure, and the majority of them dont have it under control.
Those are sobering facts. If the Spanish study pans out, one possible solution wont be too hard to swallow.
Myth: I Dont Use Table Salt So Im In Control Of My Sodium Intake And My Blood Pressure
In some people, sodium can increase blood pressure. But controlling sodium means more than just putting down the salt shaker. It also means checking labels, because up to 75 percent of the sodium we consume is hidden in processed foods like tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods and prepared mixes. When buying prepared and prepackaged foods, read the labels. Watch for the words soda and sodium and the symbol Na on labels. These words show that sodium compounds are present.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Limiting alcohol consumption can also help to prevent high blood pressure.
If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.
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Pharmacological Treatment Of Alcohol
There are no definite clinical data available on the efficacy of specific drugs in the treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension. Randin et al have reported that dexamethasone in human suppresses the acute alcohol-induced hypertension. It is suggested that ACE inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor type 1 blockers, because of their ability to increase the cardiac output in patients with alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy will be useful in the treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension. Cheng et al have shown that angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockade prevents alcoholic cardiomyopathy in dogs. The calcium channel blockers, because of the probability of the involvement of calcium in the development of alcohol-induced hypertension, may also likely be the drug of choice for the treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension.
Can Alcohol Lower Blood Pressure
There is not a great deal of evidence that alcohol and low blood pressure are linked for most people. Some research has shown that a single drink might have a positive effect on heart health. People who are light or moderate drinkers sometimes have lower rates of hypertension and heart attacks, which previously led many doctors to start recommending that people have one drink per day.
However, more recent research has shown that the link between light drinking and heart health is probably more complicated than it originally seemed. There are likely a lot of compounding factors for example, people with certain healthy habits may be less likely to drink heavily and also may have lower blood pressure because of these other habits. Many doctors no longer recommend a drink a day and are aware that even moderate amounts of alcohol can negatively impact health.
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Myth: I Read That Wine Is Good For The Heart Which Means I Can Drink As Much As I Want
If you drink alcohol, including red wine, do so in moderation. Heavy and regular use of alcohol can increase blood pressure dramatically. It can also cause heart failure, lead to stroke and produce irregular heartbeats. Too much alcohol can contribute to high triglycerides, cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents. If you drink, limit consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Generally, one drink equals a 12-ounce beer, a four-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, or one ounce of hard liquor .
Health Benefits Of Polyphenols
Foods that are highest in polyphenols include:
- spices: cloves, peppermint, star anise, oregano, sage, ginger
- cocoa powder and dark chocolate
- black, green, yellow, white, oolong tea
- berries: elderberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries
- red wine
- olive oil
Youve probably seen tea along with these other foods on lists of foods with tremendous health benefits. Interestingly, theyre all part of the Mediterranean diet too.
The polyphenols in tea and all of these foods help protect cells from oxidative damage. They also help reduce inflammation in your body, blood vessels, and brain.
Eating more polyphenol-rich foods is linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
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How Much Alcohol Is Okay
It is okay to have drinks in moderation if you are a healthy individual. Here is what moderate alcohol consumption means.
For healthy men who are younger than 65 years old: Not more than two drinks per day
For healthy men who are 65 years of age and older: Not more than one drink per day
For healthy women of any age: Not more than one drink per day
What Are The Precautions Of Red Wine For Lowering High Blood Pressure
So, drinking the best red wine for health can help you fight high blood pressure. Good! Youre probably planning on getting several bottles of it so that you will be able to have a drink every night. But before you do splurge on this beverage in the hopes that it will help you regulate your blood pressure, there are a few precautions that you need to consider.
For one thing, too much consumption of even the best red wine for health can have its drawbacks such as weight gain. This depends mostly on the calorie content of the drink. If you drink more than a glass or two, there is a high chance that you are contributing to your weight gain.
Another precaution to take into consideration when it comes to drinking red wine is that it may cause blood thinning especially in those who are taking blood thinners as part of their medication. Combining the two can be a health hazard. There is also a possibility of side effects when taking medications and drinking red wine which you need to be aware of if you are trying to keep your blood pressure to a minimum. If you are not sure about the side effects of wine and medications, you should ask your doctor for a consult.
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Which Tea Is Best For Blood Pressure
Theres just something about making a cup of tea that makes you pause and relax. That in itself probably accounts for at least some of its blood pressure reducing action.
But its really the polyphenols in tea that make it so good for your heart and blood pressure. True tea includes black and green tea, as well as white, yellow, and oolong teas. They all come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea tends to get all of the glory, but really, all of these teas are good for you. They simply differ in the way the plant is grown and how the leaves are processed.
- They all have polyphenol antioxidants. However, green tea has more epigallocatechin-3-gallate , whereas black tea is a rich source of theaflavins.
- They all have L-theanine, a compound that brings about a relaxed, but alert state.
- Black tea is highest in caffeine, whereas green tea and the other true teas tend to be lower.
- Studies show drinking about two cups of either green or black tea each day can lower your blood pressure.
Herbal teas are not part of the same tea family, so theyre not considered true teas. That doesnt mean theyre not good for you though! Herbal teas have no caffeine or L-theanine, but they do have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They also provide various health benefits, depending on the herb or plant used to make the tea.
Myth: Red Wine Is Good For Everyone
Fact: Women and men experience alcohol differently, so they should consume it differently. One glass of wine per day is plenty for women, while men shouldnt drink more than two glasses a day.
We still dont really know if red wine is good for heart health. Until theres more information available, its best to drink moderately and talk to your doctor. For information about other heart-healthy practices, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.
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Alcohol Consumption For Someone With High Blood Pressure
If someone has high blood pressure, they should avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible. Most doctors recommend that people with high blood pressure should exercise and eat a healthy diet. Part of this healthy diet is avoiding alcohol use.
While alcohol does contribute to high blood pressure, it may be safe to use small amounts of alcohol. The American Heart Association says the maximum daily amount of alcohol consumption for people with hypertension is two drinks for men and one drink for women. Ultimately, the less you drink, the better it will be for your hypertension. The AHA recommendations may not work best for everyone, however, so be sure to speak with a doctor about your specific situation.
Does Excessive Drinking Contribute To Heart Disease
Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is linked to a number of poor health outcomes, including heart conditions. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke. Excessive drinking can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle.
Whats more, alcohol can contribute to obesity and the long list of health problems that can go along with it, McEvoy says: Alcohol is a source of excess calories and a cause of weight gain that can be harmful in the long term.
The takeaway, McEvoy says, is what you probably already knew: If you choose to drink alcohol, stick to moderate levels of drinking, and dont overdo it. Were not talking about going out and drinking yourself merry and then expecting good heart outcomes, McEvoy says.
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Does Alcohol Protect Against Heart Problems
Some studies have shown an association between moderate alcohol intake and a lower risk of dying from heart disease.
But its hard to determine cause and effect from those studies, says McEvoy. Perhaps people who sip red wine have higher incomes, which tend to be associated with more education and greater access to healthier foods. Similarly, red wine drinkers might be more likely to eat a heart-healthy diet.
There is some evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol might help to slightly raise levels of good HDL cholesterol. Researchers have also suggested that red wine, in particular, might protect the heart, thanks to the antioxidants it contains.
But you dont have to pop a cork to reap those benefits. Exercise can also boost HDL cholesterol levels, and antioxidants can be found in other foods, such as fruits, vegetables and grape juice
How To Treat And Prevent Alcohol
While drinking increases the risk of hypertension, the exact cause of this is still elusive. It is possible that there may be:
- Imbalance of the nervous system
- Increased cortisol levels
The easiest way to prevent high blood pressure while drinking alcohol is to drink moderately, avoid binge drinking and choose alcoholic drinks that influence it the least. Some researchers believe that dry red wine is beneficial if consumed moderately. Certainly, to reduce the risk of hypertension, reduce consumption gradually, increase exercise slowly and monitor diet reducing salt and caffeine.
Alcoholism or binge-drinking increases the risk of coronary problems. However, drinking one glass of wine may be useful in respect to cardiovascular health because it protects through the promotion of good cholesterol. Flavonoids within the grape skin and antioxidants combat free radicals protecting the heart and blood vessels.
Where alcoholism or binge-drinking is present, it is difficult for individuals to take responsibility, but they must question with honesty and no bias does alcohol affect blood pressure? When withdrawal occurs, the risk of hypertension decreases too. Also, alcoholic treatment must be monitored in case of side-effects with any blood pressure meds and alcohol. Otherwise, the physical effects of alcohol are likely to be devastating.
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What Causes High Blood Pressure And Who Is At Risk
Those at risk are persons above the age of fifty-five, who have a forty percent chance of getting it and these chances heighten to ninety percent . There are also high chances of getting it during pregnancy. This, however, can reverse itself after giving birth.
High salt intake, high-stress levels, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity are some of the leading risk factors for high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is measured in a ratio and written as two numbers where the top number indicates systolic blood pressure, and the lower one indicates diastolic blood pressure. The systolic pressure can be defined in a laymans language as the rate at which the heart pumps and supplies blood to other parts of the body. On the other hand, the diastolic pressure is the rate at which the heart is at its normal relaxed mode, receiving blood from different body parts.
The prescription of high blood pressure medications, a proper diet and exercises can curb or in other cases reverse the problem. Heart failure can occur if high blood pressure is uncontrolled.
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Does Red Wine Lower Blood Pressure
Unfortunately, the idea that red wine can lower blood pressure largely seems to be a myth. This idea was popular for some time, mainly due to the fact that red wine is known to contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are nutrients found in many foods including berries, nuts, and chocolate. The more polyphenols people eat, the less likely they are to have high blood pressure. This fact originally led experts to believe that red wine does lower blood pressure.
However, increasing numbers of recent studies have shown no link between red wine or other types of alcohol and blood pressure drop. Those who are looking to lower their blood pressure are better off stopping drinking altogether.
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Prevention And Treatment Of Alcohol
There are few strategies for the control, prevention and treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension as shown in Figure .
Prevention and treatment of alcohol-induced hypertension. ACEi/ARBs: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor/Angiotensin receptor blockers
Studies have shown that a reduction in alcohol intake is effective in lowering the blood pressure both in hypertensives and normotensives and may help to prevent the development of hypertension. Heavy drinkers who cut back to moderate drinking can lower their systolic blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm of mercury and their diastolic blood pressure by 1 to 2 mmHg. Heavy drinkers who want to lower blood pressure should slowly reduce how much they drink over one to two weeks.
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Wine And Blood Pressure
While red wine has been touted to have many heart health benefits, lowering blood pressure is not one of them. Treat red and white wine equaling when it comes to blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, consume wine in moderation.
If your blood pressure is not in control, I recommend you eliminate alcohol completely until your blood pressure is well-managed.
Researchers in Spain did find high blood pressure benefits were connected to drinking non-alcoholic red wine. Extra emphasis on the NON-ALCOHOLIC part.
How To Tell If You Have High Blood Pressure
Due to the lack of noticeable symptoms, hypertension is a silent health condition. The only way of knowing if theres a problem is to have your blood pressure measured. You can have this done at your GP surgery, some local pharmacies, or you can buy a blood pressure monitor from the chemist.
A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers or levels, the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure: unless your doctor tells you otherwise, your blood pressure should be below 140/90mmHg5.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give the body the energy and oxygen it needs. Pressure is needed to make the blood circulate. The pressure pushes against the walls of your arteries and your blood pressure is a measure of the strength of this pushing, combined with the resistance from the artery walls.
A normal heart pumps blood around the body easily, at a low pressure. High blood pressure means that your heart must pump harder and the arteries have to carry blood thats flowing under greater pressure.
This puts a strain on your arteries and your heart, which in turn increases your risk of a heart attack, a stroke or of suffering from kidney disease2.