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-alcoholized red wine (DRW) or water over 24 h.
Twenty-five normotensive men were randomly assigned to drink either 375 ml of red wine (41 g 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 24 h. Blood samples were obtained before and 2, 4 and 24 h after beverage consumption.
Blood pressure fell in the first 4 h after red wine consumption (P = 0.001), but was significantly higher after 20 h (P = 0.037). Plasma 20-HETE fell in the 2 h after consumption of all beverages, but over the 24-h period was relatively higher after red wine consumption (P = 0.025). The largest difference in 20-HETE was 2 h after consuming red wine and coincided with the highest blood alcohol level. There were no significant effects of red wine on plasma EETs.
Acute consumption of alcohol as red wine results in a relative increase in plasma levels of the vasoconstrictor 20-HETE over 24 h 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.