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Non-alcoholic red wine has beaten the full-strength stuff in a study comparing which drink may help reduce blood pressure.

Men at high risk of heart disease had lower blood pressure after drinking non-alcoholic red wine every day for four weeks, a study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research has found.

There was very little reduction after drinking alcoholic red wine or gin.

Researchers concluded that the alcohol in red wine weakens its ability to lower blood pressure.

But polyphenols still present after alcohol is removed are likely the beneficial element in wine.

The non-alcoholic red wine increased participants' levels of nitric oxide, which helped decrease blood pressure, researchers said.

Nitric oxide is a molecule in the body that helps blood vessels relax and allows more blood to reach the heart and other organs.

A group of 67 men with diabetes or three or more heart disease risk factors ate a normal diet, plus red wine, non-alcoholic red wine, or gin.

All men tried the diet and beverage combination for four weeks.

There were equal amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant that decreases blood pressure, in both types of wine.

The West Australian

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