One of the best things about enjoying the health benefits of red wine is the wine itself.
Being healthy has never tasted so good!
So naturally, some researchers are trying to spoil the party -- because a new study looks at the benefits of the polyphenols in red wine... when taken without the actual wine.
I'm happy to report that the experiment was a failure.
Researchers gave 61 men and women with an average age of 61 one of three drinks for four weeks: A dairy beverage with a high dose of the polyphenols found in red wine... a dairy beverage with a lower dose of those same polyphenols... and a dairy beverage with no polyphenols.
After four weeks, there was no change in blood pressure levels. The patients were all hypertensive before... and remained so afterwards with average readings of 145/86.
But even the researchers must've expected that.
"Previous human studies showed no effect of red wine drinking on blood pressure," researcher Ilse Botden, MD, a PhD student at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam told WebMD.
The researchers concluded that whatever the heart benefits of red wine might be, they don't come from lowering blood pressure. Like I said, that's no surprise -- the real surprise is that they reached any conclusion at all about red wine... since no one in the study actually drank any.
The researchers were on the right track in one regard, however: Red wine isn't actually the best source of some of its famous antioxidants. A single resveratrol supplement, for example, can contain as much of the polyphenol as an entire case of wine.
But take it WITH your wine, not instead of it -- because studies have shown that booze itself holds some terrific benefits, no matter what kind of alcoholic beverage you drink. In fact, a moderate drinking habit can help your heart, lower your risk of stroke and may even extend your life... even if it won't lower your BP.
And of course, booze is also great for the brain: One recent study found that moderate drinkers are 30 percent less likely to develop dementia and 40 percent less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease than non-drinkers.
If you can get all that from drinking, why get it any other way?