According to a study published Thursday in the journal Circulation, mice that were fed large amounts of resveratrol, an ingredient found in red wine, experienced a considerable reduction in blood pressure levels.
Researchers believe that resveratrol can be used to develop new high blood pressure medication for humans. However, the study was not conducted in humans, it is not clinically proven that resveratrol will help lower blood pressure in humans.
The researchers said, “This is not your cue to start drinking copious amounts of red wine.”
Worldwide, nearly 40% of adults above 25 years have hypertension, while in the United States, 1 in 3 adults have hypertension, according to the CDC.
Hypertension is called the “silent killer” because it can lead to a stroke or a heart attack without any prior warning signal.
The team of researchers fed a diet rich in resveratrol to mice for 15 days. When they compared with the group of mice that were fed a normal diet, the blood pressure of those that were fed with large quantities of resveratrol dropped significantly.
The scientists explained that resveratrol relaxed the blood vessels, decreasing the blood pressure. The red wine ingredient oxidized a protein known as PKG1a in the blood vessel walls. They found that it acts in the same way in humans.
However, other researchers were skeptical about the study and said that red wine is not the answer to treating high blood pressure in humans.
A lecturer and alcohol researcher at the University of Surrey Bob Patton said, “If you wanted to match the effective dosage found in the study, you would need to drink about 1,000 bottles of wine each day, which is of course impossible.”
The study authors explained that a high dose of resveratrol was needed to break down the compound to reach the blood vessel walls. Patton added, “Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with increases in blood pressure, and this can lead to cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes.”