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Recent studies suggest that red and purple grape juices may offer some of the same heart benefits of red wine such as reducing low density lipoproteins (LDL) ("bad") cholesterol, reducing risk of blood clots and helping maintain a healthy blood pressure. Both red wine and grape juice contain antioxidants including flavonoids and resveratrol. Also, eating whole red or purple grapes provides the same antioxidants as red wine plus fiber.
Studies have thus far been inconclusive, but there may be a link between moderate red wine consumption and a reduced risk of heart disease. But what about people who do not drink red wine? Could grape juice have the same effects?
Interest in red wine for heart health has focused in part on the possible beneficial effects of substances called antioxidants in the wine, resveratrol in particular. These antioxidants are thought to have roles in protecting arteries, reducing the likelihood of blood clots and raising levels of the “good” form of cholesterol (HDL, or high-density lipoprotein).
These antioxidants originate in the skins of the grapes from which the wine is made. These same antioxidants are in grape juice. So the good news is that if red wine is proven to help heart health because of antioxidants, then a glass of purple grape juice a day may have the same effects. However, one theory is also that the benefits of red wine come not from the antioxidants, but from the alcohol in the wine. If that proves true, then grape juice is not an effective preventive measure for heart health. So for now, stay tuned. If you already enjoy grape juice and drink it, you might be helping your heart health.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.