It's long been suspected that drinking a moderate amount of red wine offered the added benefit of lowering the risk of heart disease by reducing blood pressure.
A Dutch study has found that the chemicals in red wine believed to be responsible for the benefit in fact did not lower borderline or early-stage high blood pressure.
Ilse P.G. Botden, the lead researcher from the Erasmus University Medical Center in The Netherlands, said the findings do not support the idea that red wine polyphenols would account for the heart benefits of red wine consumption by lowering blood pressure.
Researchers used a double-blind placebo controlled study to make the determination. They included 61 individuals with borderline high blood pressure. They were asked to consume dairy drinks that contained either a placebo or red wine polyphenols, which are the antioxidant chemicals in red wine that were believed to benefit the heart.
After four weeks, they found that the individuals who drank an amount of polyphenols that was equivalent to about two or three glasses of red wine daily, showed no significant difference in blood pressure as compared to those who received the drinks containing the placebo.
Previous studies had indicated that drinking one or two glasses of red wine each day may be able to help lower blood pressure.
The research was recently presented in Orlando, Fla. at a scientific conference hosted by the American Heart Association.