Researchers in France found Concord grape juice stimulated an arterial relaxation effect in a similar fashion to red wine.

In fact, Dr. Valerie Schini-Kerth and a team of researchers of the Universite Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, France, found the beneficial effect provided by Concord grape juice lasted up to six hours, something not reported with red wine.

The findings, reported at Winehealth conference in Bordeaux, France, also demonstrated it's the components of the grape, rather than alcohol, which produce the beneficial effect for the heart.

The researchers said the Concord grape juice stimulated the production of nitric oxide in endothelial cells, providing a vasorelaxation effect. Nitric oxide is important in the body's natural system for maintaining healthy, flexible blood vessels and helps support healthy blood pressure, Schini-Kerth said.

The study also supports other preliminary research in which Concord grape juice had a blood pressure-lowering effect, the researchers said.