Tags: red | wine | heart | vodka

Red Wine Better than Vodka for the Heart

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 08:49 PM

If you’re worried about heart health, choose the Merlot over the martini. That’s the latest word from Rhode Island Hospital researchers who have found red wine has more cardiovascular benefits than vodka.
The findings, reported in the journal Circulation, indicate both alcoholic drinks have heart-healthy benefits but wine is more beneficial – boosting HDL (good) cholesterol and dilating blood vessels, which leads to increased blood flow to the heart.
"There has been previous research touting the benefits of moderate consumption of wine, but we wanted to test the effects of both wine and vodka in conjunction with high cholesterol as those who would be in this at-risk patient population typically have other medical issues, such as high cholesterol," said Dr. Frank Sellke, a cardiothoracic surgeon, who helped conduct the study.
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"What we found is that moderate consumption of both alcohols may reduce cardiovascular risk, but that red wine may offer increased protection due to its antioxidant properties."
The study is based on researchers’ analysis of the effects of wine and vodka on three groups of pigs fed a high fat diet. One group received no wine or vodka with their meals, the second group was given red wine daily, and the third was given vodka. The wine and vodka were mixed with the pigs' food, and the dosages were selected to provide equal amounts of alcohol to both treated groups.
After seven weeks, researchers found pigs given wine or vodka had significantly increased blood flow to the heart, with wine offering greater cardiovascular benefits. They also found HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased in both groups given alcohol with their meals.
Past studies have shown that beer, wine and spirits boost cardiovascular health. Red wine, which contains the beneficial phenol resveratrol, may be particularly healthful because of its antioxidant, pro-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The new study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
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Both alcoholic drinks offer heart-healthy benefits but wine has more beneficial properties.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 08:49 PM
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