In yet another study with many
ifs and buts, researchers in Spain have claimed that the
compounds found in red wine could potentially help ease
hypertension in postmenopausal women but cautioned that
the results may not yet be applicable to red wine.
The study conducted at the University of
Granada, and led by Rocío López-Sepúlveda,
a researcher at the department of pharmacology is scheduled
to be published in the April issue of Hypertension.
Women who have gone through menopause are
at a greater risk of hypertension than men of the same age,
underlining the need to identify potential therapeutic measures,
write the study's authors.
The study indicates that the red-wine compounds
may help reduce hypertension as well as the complications
associated with it, such as inflammation of the arteries,
a restricted aorta or oxidative stress on the blood vessels.
Reported in the Wine Spectator, the study
has also included research from the University Complutense
of Madrid. Researchers used female rats that were genetically
engineered to have high blood pressure. They then stimulated
menopause by removing the rats' ovaries, after which time
the rats' blood pressure rose due to the altered DNA. The
scientists treated half the rats with a mixture of several
types of red-wine chemicals associated with improved circulation,
including resveratrol, for a period of five weeks. The remaining
rats serving as a control group received only water with
After five weeks, the scientists examined
the rats' blood vessels. They found that the high blood
pressure had been alleviated in the rats that received a
regular red-wine-compound treatment added to their food.
The rats had more relaxed aortas, healthier linings to the
veins and arteries, as well as less oxidative stress—all
of which are associated with lower blood pressure.
The scientists cautioned, however that
while their results indicate that the risk of hypertension
in postmenopausal women could potentially be reduced through
the use of regular red-wine-chemical supplements, they may
not extend to women who drink red wine.
Excess wine shrinks brain
In the meanwhile, according to another
study, consuming wine might make parts of your brain shrivel
more quickly than the consumption of beer or liquor.
Researchers at Göttingen University in Germany have
found that the hippocampus, a part of the brain important
for memory and brain performance shrinks particularly quickly
in wine drinkers.
Using a magnetic resonance tomography unit, the researchers
measured the brains of wine, beer and liquor consumers.
According to the study, wine drinkers on average had a hippocampus
that was ten per cent smaller than that of beer drinkers.
Non-drinkers had the largest hippocampus.
The researchers believe beer may contain some substances
that counteract the damaging effect of alcohol.
Amidst increasing absurdity in the various recent studies
on wine and health, one trend is clear-there is nothing
like drinking quality wine regularly and in moderation.
Rather than drinking primarily for the health benefits one
should drink for pleasure with the potential benefits being
only as a side benefit.-editor