Page last updated: February 14, 2014
Acute effects of red wine consumption on hypertension

The vasodilation accompanying acute alcohol ingestion is hard to reconcile with the strong evidence linking chronic alcohol consumption with hypertension. Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid include vasodilator epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and the vasoconstrictor 20-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (20-HETE). This study aimed to examine the relationship between CYP450 eicosanoids and blood pressure (BP), and compared the effect of single session of drinking red wine with de-alcoholised red wine (DRW) or water over 24h.

Twenty-five normotensive men were randomly assigned to drink either 375 ml of red wine (41g of alcohol) or the equivalent volume of DRW or water, with a light meal on 3 separate days. Ambulatory BP and heart rate were measured over 24h. Blood samples were obtained before and 2, 4 and 24h after beverage consumption.

Blood pressure fell in the first 4h after red wine consumption, but was significantly higher after 20h. Plasma 20-HETE fell in the 2h after consumption of all beverages, but over the 24h period was relatively higher after red wine consumption. The largest difference in 20-HETE was 2h after consuming red wine and coincided with the highest blood alcohol level. There were no significant effects of red wine on plasma EETs.

The authors state that acute consumption of alcohol as red wine results in a relative increase in plasma levels of the vasoconstrictor 20-HETE over 24h without affecting EETs, and may contribute to the BP elevation that associates with a binge drinking pattern or be a homeostatic response to the acute fall in BP induced by alcohol.

Source: Acute effects of red wine on cytochrome P450 eicosanoids and blood pressure in men. Barden AE, Croft KD, Beilin LJ, Phillips M, Ledowski T, Puddey IB. J Hypertens. 2013 Nov;31(11):2195-202. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e328364a27f.

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