White wine even better for you than red, research finds

White wine even better for you than red, research finds News Wine News
  • Wednesday 2 May 2001

White wine could prevent the development of a range of diseases affecting the bones and joints, according to research presented at the Wine and Health conference in Palo Alto, California, last weekend.

Experiments commissioned by Friulian producer, Co-op of Cormons, and the German Wine Institute found that white wine is actually better for you than red because of its smaller molecules.

It contains the compounds tyrosol and caffeic acid, which act as anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants, possibly preventing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

The report said two glasses of white wine a day could lead to a reduced inflammatory reaction, but warned that higher consumption appeared to cancel out these benefits.

It seems that relatively small molecules are at least partially accountable for white wine's health-giving effects. Dr Alberto Bertelli (pictured), a researcher at the University of Milan, who worked on the project told decanter.com, 'The beneficial compounds in white wine are smaller than those in red and so more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.'

Dr Bertelli also stressed that it was only in wine that the compounds became effective. 'The active compounds are also present in unfermented white grape juice and extra virgin olive oil, but it is only after fermentation that they are small enough to be efficiently absorbed by humans,' he said, adding that over-zealous filtering and clarifying would remove the all-important compounds from the wine.

The most exciting message for white wine buffs is that this is just the beginning. Research is soon to start on sparkling wines, and Dr Bertelli says early results from other projects indicates de-alcoholised white wine extract has properties that may prevent cardiovascular disease in rats.

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