A few glasses of red wine a week can help avoid high blood pressure, according to a new study.
Researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast working with Germany’s Kiel University have found a link between lower blood pressure and a higher intake of foods rich in flavonoids, including berries, apples, tea and red wine.
Professor Aedin Cassidy, chair and professor in nutrition and preventive medicine at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s, was lead investigator in the study of more than 900 adults in Germany, the results of which have been published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.
While mounting research has shown flavonoids can improve heart health, the study team said this was the first time data has explained their link to lowering blood pressure.
Researchers said the study had focused on the role played by microbes in the gut microbiome in metabolising flavonoids found in the aforementioned foods and drinks, which then worked to bring down blood pressure.
“Our gut microbiome plays a key role in metabolising flavonoids to enhance their cardioprotective effects, and this study provides evidence to suggest these blood pressure-lowering effects are achievable with simple changes to the daily diet,” Professor Cassidy said in a statement from Queen’s.
As always, moderation is key. The study found some three glasses of red wine a week was the required dose for achieving the desired result on blood pressure, while 80 grams of berries a day was also found to be beneficial.