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This article is from the WebMD News Archive

One Thing Red Wine Can’t Do

Glass of red wine

Sept. 23, 2011 -- Red wine (in moderation) is as good for your health as it is to your palate. At least that’s what we’re consistently told.

Red wine and heart health have long been linked, with studies suggesting a glass or two a day lowers heart disease risk.

The heart-healthy benefits are often credited to antioxidants called polyphenols. Experts have different opinions, however, about exactly how the polyphenols may benefit the heart.

Now, Dutch researchers have found that the polyphenols don't seem to promote heart health by reducing blood pressure.

"Our findings do not support [the idea] that potential cardiovascular benefits of red wine consumption result from blood pressure lowering by polyphenols," says researcher Ilse Botden, MD, a PhD student at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The findings don't suggest red wine isn't still heart-healthy -- just that it doesn't seem to work by lowering blood pressure, Botden says.

The benefit of red wine and heart health, she says, ''apparently occurs in a blood pressure-independent manner."

Botden is due to present the findings today at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2011 Scientific Sessions in Orlando.

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