The cardiovascular benefits of drinking a glass of red
wine a day has been well established.¹ However, some people avoid drinking alcohol due to social, health
reasons, or personal preference.
The question comes up then, does dealcoholized red wine
still give cardiovascular benefits compared to regular alcoholic wine?
There is some good scientific evidence that it
Polyphenols found in red wine increases the production
and activity of an enzyme called paraoxonase1 which is an antioxidant enzyme
that can decrease atherosclerotic disease, or plaque deposits in blood
These polyphenols are found in dealcoholized wine
because the wine is originally produced in the same way as regular wine. The pulp of the grape is allowed to mix and
and ferment with grape skin and skin, giving red wine its red color and also a
wide variety of polyphenols. The wine
goes through a dealcoholization step to remove the alcohol from the wine, still
leaving a more complex flavor profile compared to grape juice.²
In one study of 66 men at high risk for heart disease,
the subjects were placed into three treatment groups. The focus was to see if some markers of heart
attack risk could change based upon alcohol or dealcoholized wine
consumption. Though they were eating
similar diets, group 1 drank red wine, group 2 drank dealcoholized red wine,
group 3 drank gin. Four weeks later,
group 2 that was given dealcoholized red wine had lower blood pressure and
higher nitric oxide compared to group 1 and 3.
This study suggests that dealcoholized red wine can also decrease
cardiovascular risk compared to regular red wine.³
A, Sumpio B. “Polyphenols are medicine: Is it time to prescribe red wine for
Int J Angiol. 2009 Autumn, 18 (3) : 111-117.
K et al. “Lowering the alcohol content of red wine does not alter its
S Afr Med J. 2012: 102 (6) : 565-567.
3. Chiva-Blanch G et al. “Dealcoholized red wine decreases
systolic and diastolic blood pressure and increases plasma nitric oxide.”
2012; 111: 1065-1068.