Our take: Red wine in moderation has often been hailed by researcher for its antioxidants and heart-health benefits. However, researchers are now questioning if the alcohol content of wine hinders the benefits of its antioxidants. In this article, The Atlantic summarizes the findings of a recent study by researchers at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.
Research suggests the alcohol in red wine may actually be impeding the antioxidants' cardiovascular benefits.
PROBLEM:Drinking red wine in moderation has been shown to ward off heart disease, and many have latched onto the research as an excuse to indulge a little bit, or a lot. But where does alcohol factor into the benefits?
METHODOLOGY: Researchers at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona 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 the four weeks, each subject rotated to a different drink and repeated the process before switching again such that by the end of the study, all 67 men had been observed consuming all three drinks. Each study participant 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.
RESULTS:The non-alcoholic red wine was associated with a significant decrease in blood pressure, lowering heart disease risk by 14 percent and the risk of stroke by 20 percent. The alcoholic red wine, however, did not appear to have such effects.