Monday, 17 August 2009

Is Red Wine Healthier?

The claim: Red wine is better for you than white wine

The facts: Many studies have shown that red wine contains healthy compounds that are less abundant in white wine, including resveratrol, the heart-healthy substance derived from grape skins.

As white wine is produced with limited exposure to the skin, it contains lower levels of resveratrol, not to mention flavonoids, antioxidants and the bitter-tasting tannins that are also linked to cardiovascular health.

According to studies, the wines with the greatest amounts of those compounds come from Sardinia, Spain, and south-western France, in particular, those from the grape Grenache.

One caveat: few epidemiological studies have compared white wine to red. Of those that have, some have demonstrated that red wine has a health advantage while others have not.

Yet others have stated that drinkers of red and white wines are too different to compare. One study found that red wine drinkers had a significantly lower risk of colon cancer than white wine drinkers, but the researchers later explained that among other things, the white wine drinkers were also more likely to smoke, which could have made the difference.

The best answer may be to go with your palate, so long as you remember to drink in moderation.

The bottom line: On red versus white wines, the evidence is mixed.

The New York Times 

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