Is it ok to drink red wine with high blood pressure? If you don’t have hypertension, can you drink – Read on what a new study says.
Experts suggest drinking red wine is good for heart health, but is it true?
Does One Drink A Day Affect Your Blood Pressure?
A new study has now found having just one beer or glass of wine per day can elevate your systolic blood pressure — the “top number” that measures how much pressure blood exerts against artery walls when the heart beats — even for people who don’t have hypertension.
According to the author of this study, a professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Medical School in Italy, even low consumption of alcohol damages human health.
As per the findings published in the journal Hypertension, even low levels of alcohol consumption negatively affected systolic blood pressure in both men and women. For men, but not women, the study also discovered that light drinking was associated with elevated diastolic blood pressure, the “bottom number” that measures how much pressure blood exerts on artery walls when the heart is at rest between beats.
What Are Healthy Numbers for Blood Pressure?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), for most adults, blood pressure is considered normal when the systolic reading is less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and the diastolic reading is below 80 mmHg. The standard benchmark for having hypertension is a systolic blood pressure of at least 130 mmHg or diastolic readings over 80 mmHg,
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drinking alcohol has long been considered a risk factor for hypertension, along with aging, a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight or obese, and eating a high-salt diet. The WHO now says that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, so even light drinking is a part of heart health risks.
This new study’s findings support WHO’s endorsement of abstinence. Less is better when it comes to drinking, and no consumption is best for blood pressure.
Alcohol Consumption Can Increase Hypertension Risk For People With Other Risk Factors
For the new study, researchers analyzed data from seven trials that involved more than 19,000 participants for about five years. None of the participants had hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, or a history of alcoholism when they joined these studies.
All participants provided information about their typical drinking levels based on how many grams of alcohol they consumed per week. Researchers defined one standard drink as twelve grams of alcohol, approximately the amount in a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.
Researchers compared blood pressure over time for participants who reported regular alcohol consumption with those who didn’t drink at all.
Overall, compared with non-drinkers, systolic blood pressure was 1.25 mmHg higher in people who averaged one daily drink per day and 4.9 mmHg higher in those who had averaged two drinks per day. Similarly, diastolic blood pressure was 1.14 mmHg higher when participants consumed one drink per day on average and 3.1 mmHg higher when they averaged two drinks daily.
Even though slight increases in blood pressure might not necessarily lead to hypertension for individuals with normal blood pressure, these increases can still contribute to heart disease at the population level, especially among older adults or those with other hypertension risk factors.
Study Misses The Point That Aging Could Also Have Increased Blood Pressure Over Time
The study has one limitation. The researchers lacked data to analyze how aging might have influenced the connection between alcohol consumption and increased blood pressure.
The study also wasn’t designed to prove whether or how alcohol might directly cause an increase in blood pressure.
How Much Alcohol Is Safe To drink Daily?
Despite the limitation, there are possible biological adverse effects that alcohol can produce in the body that may cause high blood pressure more likely to develop, says Nieca Goldberg, M.D. medical director of Atria New York City, who wasn’t involved in the new study.
Among other things, alcohol can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can raise blood pressure and heart rate, says Dr. Goldberg. She adds that drinking can also increase blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain.
Goldberg says further that for those with high blood pressure, these changes can lead to aggravation of blood pressure and also might interfere with some blood pressure medications, as alcohol and many medicines are metabolized in the liver.
However, further research is required to ascertain exactly how much risk there is that the small blood pressure increases seen with a single daily drink in the study might ultimately contribute to developing hypertension, Goldberg says.
Even if the risks aren’t clear for light drinking, what is clear is the lack of benefit. “Alcohol does not prevent heart disease,” Goldberg says.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says, ” Age is just a number!”