Scientists have provided wine-lovers with just the news they needed to get them through the working week.
A new scientific study has found a few glasses of red every week might have real and important health benefits.
The new research provides hard evidence that drinking a few classes of vino from time to time could help you avoid high blood pressure.
According to the study, a diet featuring foods and drinks rich in flavonoids could be beneficial in the long run.
The group of six natural compounds occur in plants and there has been much scientific interest in whether they could lower risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease in recent years.
Flavonoids are found in foods like berries, apples and grains, but also in tea – and, crucially, red wine.
Scientists monitored more than 900 adults in Germany to assess the impact of a flavonoid-rich diet on blood pressure.
The team behind the study said it was the first time data has explained the link between the compounds and a low risk of hypertension, adding to a body of evidence about the health benefits of flavonoids.
Researchers said the study had focused on the role played by microbes in the gut microbiome in metabolising flavonoids found in food and drinks, which then worked to bring down blood pressure.
It was led by professor Aedin Cassidy, chair and professor in nutrition and preventive medicine at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s.
She said: ‘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.
‘As always, moderation is key. The study found some three glasses of red wine per 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.’
The results were published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.
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