Studies have linked wine and improved cardiovascular health. But a recently released report questions whether it’s really the alcohol or the polyphenol in red wine that improves heart health.

A study conducted by Chiva- Blanch G, of Boston University Medical Center, consisted of 67 male volunteers in Spain who were deemed to be in “high-risk of cardiovascular disease, due to increased body mass index (BMI), smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and other ailments.

Results of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The participants agreed not to drink any alcohol for a fixed period of time, then were told to drink 30 grams of red wine or gin for three individual one-month periods. The chief findings of the study were that both the ethanol and nonalcoholic compounds in red wine have preventative aspects, as it pertains to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“This is a very interesting paper that goes a way towards answering the question whether it is the alcohol or polyphenols in red wine that confer the health benefits,” study authors said.. “The trial was well conducted and controlled, with very detailed analysis.”

Previous findings of a link between drinking red wine and cardiovascular health were called into question when a University of Connecticut professor was recently accused of falsifying his findings.

Many of Das’s reports showed positive effects from the red wine ingredient resveratrol, which he claimed promoted longer life in laboratory animals. UCONN states that Das left out many of the studies main principles, and they also challenge several of his findings.

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