Antihypertensive effect of alcohol in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
The influence of ethanol (alcohol) consumption on blood pressure during and after the development of hypertension was examined by using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and stroke-prone SHR (SHRSP). Normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were also used for comparison. Substituting alcohol (5-20%) for drinking water at 1 month of age retarded the age-dependent rise of blood pressure in all three strains so that, at 7 months, blood pressure measured by a tail-cuff method was 24 mm Hg, 26 mm Hg, and 41 mm Hg lower in the alcohol-treated WKY rats, SHR, and SHRSP, respectively, than in untreated rats. Significant differences in blood pressure were seen in each strain after only 3 months. Withdrawal of alcohol at this stage caused an acute rise of blood pressure then a return to subnormal levels, which persisted for a further 3 months. Administration of 15% alcohol to adult WKY rats and SHR for 2 months had no significant effect on blood pressure. Increasing alcohol content to 20% for a further 2 months prevented rises of blood pressure in both strains. Thus, although continuous drinking of alcohol does not lower blood pressure, it appears to counteract the development of hypertension in rats.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association