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Red wine helps combat Type-2 diabetes, new study suggests

Published:  14 October, 2015

A glass of wine - particularly red wine - may contribute to better cholesterol profiles and a healthier heart, according to new clinical research.

The two-year study, run by Professor Iris Shai of Israel's Ben Gurion University and reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed 224 adult patients with type-2 diabetes.

The patients, who otherwise abstained from alcohol, were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet. They were randomly separated into three equal groups and asked to accompany their evening meal with 150ml of either mineral water, white wine or red wine.

No limits were placed on the quantity or calorific intake of the patients' food.

Both red and white wine were found to improve sugar control among those patients with genes that allowed them to metabolise alcohol slowly.

However, the study suggested that phenols in the dark-skinned grapes were responsible for the principal health benefits of moderate wine consumption.

This was not what those leading the research had expected to find.

"The differences found between red and white wine were opposed to our original hypothesis that the beneficial effects of wine are mediated predominantly by the alcohol," Professor Shai said.

"Red wine was found to be superior in improving overall metabolic profiles.

"Initiating moderate wine intake, especially red wine, among well-controlled diabetics, as part of a healthy diet, is apparently safe, and modestly decreases cardio-metabolic risk.

"The differential genetic effects that were found may assist in identifying diabetic patients in whom moderate wine consumption may induce greater clinical benefit."

Both red and white wine drinkers reported better quality sleep than those limited to mineral water.

Neither wine was seen to have an adverse effect on either liver function or blood pressure.