AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
Alcohol & Health
Treatment
Helping Alcoholics
Where Does My Call Go?
Updated on July 31, 2023
5 min read

Is Wine Really Good for Your Heart?

Alyssa Hill
Elena Borrelli M.S.PAC
Written by 
6 Sources Cited
Alyssa Hill
Written by 
6 Sources Cited

Wine has a long history of being used for both pleasure and health benefits, from ancient Rome to the modern day. People enjoy wine in moderation as a beverage to promote relaxation and well-being.

But could it also be beneficial for heart health? The “French Paradox” suggests a diet rich in fats and wine could lead to relatively low cardiovascular risk and disease rates.1

This article summarizes some of the wine and heart health research. It also explores whether moderate amounts could benefit your cardiovascular system, so you can decide whether or not to include wine in your diet.

Is Wine Good for Your Heart?

Evidence that red wine can prevent heart disease is lacking.1 The studies on the topic have only shown association and not causation.

It’s uncertain whether moderate alcohol consumption can lower heart disease rates. Although moderate drinking (one drink per day for healthy women and two for healthy men) is considered safe, there’s no long-term, randomized trial testing its health effects.

The French Paradox

Experts question the validity of the French Paradox, suggesting that lifestyle and dietary habits may be at play rather than just wine consumption. French doctors' early underreporting of heart disease deaths could also skew the observation. 

Furthermore, heart disease rates in Japan are lower than in France despite high beer and clear spirits consumption but minimal red wine.1

Sponsored

Online Therapy Can Help

Over 3 million people use BetterHelp. Their services are:

  • Professional and effective
  • Affordable and convenient
  • Personalized and discreet
  • Easy to start
Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

online consultation

How Does Wine Potentially Benefit the Heart?

Various epidemiological studies suggest that drinking red wine may offer more excellent protection against coronary heart disease compared to other types of alcohol. Red wine can also:2

  • Reduce the likelihood of type-2 diabetes
  • Increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
  • Decrease lipid oxidative stress

In addition, red wine has active compounds (polyphenols) with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The most studied polyphenol is resveratrol, which may help reduce cholesterol levels and artery damage. Resveratrol is in grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and peanuts. 

Does Wine Help Clean Your Arteries?

A study analyzed the effect of taking 10 mg of resveratrol daily on 40 people with heart problems. Study results showed that taking it lowered bad cholesterol, improved how well the blood vessels worked, and made it easier for blood to flow through the body.2

Two other studies have investigated the effects of resveratrol, a compound found in grapevines, on blood flow. Romain et al. found that Vineatrol 30, a unique extract rich in resveratrol (15.2%), prevented the growth of fatty streaks on the aorta in hamsters fed a high-fat diet.

Similarly, Fujitaka et al. found that Longevinex, another form of resveratrol, improved blood vessel functioning in people with Metabolic Syndrome after just three weeks.

Can Wine Lower Blood Pressure?

According to recent research, drinking alcohol in low-dose alcohol (less than 14 grams) within six hours has little effect on blood pressure. However, it increases heart rate by 5.1 beats per minute (bpm).3 

Moderate alcohol intake (14 to 28 grams) within the same period decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure while increasing heart rate by 4.6 bpm.

Interestingly, taking medium-dose alcohol (14 to 28 grams) within 7 to 12 hours has no significant impact on either blood pressure or heart rate. Furthermore, medium-dose alcohol consumed more than 13 hours earlier doesn't affect blood pressure or heart rate.

Nonetheless, those with high blood pressure should avoid consuming alcohol altogether to reduce the risk of complications.

Which Type of Wine is Best for Your Heart?

There's a debate between red and white wine regarding benefits. Red wine is usually made from dark-colored grapes and contains higher amounts of resveratrol, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and artery damage.

White wine, on the other hand, is made from lighter-colored grapes and contains less resveratrol. It may still offer some benefits since alcohol in moderate consumption has been associated with better heart health.4

Sponsored

BetterHelp can Help

They’ll connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Better Help Logo

Risks and Limitations of Drinking Wine for Heart Health

The most important thing to remember is that drinking too much alcohol can significantly increase your risk of several health issues, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart muscle damage
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Brain damage
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol addiction
health risks of drinking wine

Additionally, the potential benefits of drinking wine for heart health are limited. Because the studies on this topic are primarily observational, it's uncertain whether drinking wine could help prevent heart disease.

Is It Bad to Drink Wine Every Day?

understanding recommended alcohol limits

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises limiting alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Specifically, one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.4

Drinking wine daily can increase the risk of health issues, such as high blood pressure and addiction. Consequently, it’s essential to talk to your healthcare provider about how much alcohol is safe to consume.

Sponsored

Thinking about Getting Help?

BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat.

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Better Help Logo

Summary

While some evidence indicates that moderate wine consumption can benefit heart health, excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

It's vital to consult with a healthcare professional to determine an appropriate quantity and variety of wine for your needs. Moreover, remember that potential benefits are limited and should not be taken as a reason to overindulge.

Commonly Asked Questions on Drinking Wine

Does Drinking Wine Affect Your Heart?

Although many people believe drinking wine has beneficial effects on the heart, there's limited evidence to support this.

Which Drink Is Best for Heart Health?

Moderate drinking of alcohol may have beneficial effects on heart health. However, one of the most studied drinks is red wine, which contains a polyphenol called resveratrol that may help reduce cholesterol levels and artery damage.

Is Beer Good for the Heart?

Two reviews spotlighting beer consumption show moderate intake (up to 55 g alcohol/day, or 385 g/week) can positively impact non-fatal cardiovascular (CV) incidents.5 

Further, both studies reveal that moderate wine or beer consumption may yield the highest effect, indicating that the polyphenolic content in these drinks may contribute to CV health benefits.

When Should You Drink Wine?

Drinking wine 30 minutes before eating can stimulate hunger and increase appetite. If done consistently, it can lead to weight gain.

If you enjoy cooking and sipping wine simultaneously, consider breaking your glass into two servings of 3 ounces each. Additionally, indulging in wine after a full meal can reduce its effects while increasing calorie absorption.7

Updated on July 31, 2023
6 sources cited
Updated on July 31, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Corliss, J. “Is red wine actually good for your heart?” Harvard Health Publishing, 2020.
  2. Castaldo et al. “Red Wine Consumption and Cardiovascular Health.” Molecules, 2019.
  3. Tasnim et al. “Effect of alcohol on blood pressure.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2020.
  4. American Heart Association. “Drinking red wine for heart health? read this before you toast.” Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms, 2019.
  5. Marcos et al. “Moderate Consumption of Beer and Its Effects on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health: An Updated Review of Recent Scientific Evidence.” Nutrients, 2021.
  6. Puckette, M. “7 Tips to Drink Wine and Stay Thin.” Wine Folly, n.d.
AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
© 2024 by Treatment Pathway LLC. All rights reserved.
Back to top icon
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram