Beer, Wine and Spirits. Tastings and Travel. News and Events. Classic Flavors from Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across the Drinks World.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

To Your Health: Red Wine Benefits Arteries

Most of the recent good news about red wine and health has involved a compound called resveratrol, which is found in a thin layer between the skin and flesh of the grape. There's one hitch to the research: while resveratrol can do some amazing things and it is found in red wine, you would need to put away massive amounts on a daily basis to replicate the dose that appears to have benefits in lab mice.

Now comes a study from Queen Mary's School of Medicine in London that says another substance found in red wine may have even more benefits -- and procyanidins appear in high enough natural concentrations that scientists don't have to figure out how to concentrate them into pill form. A glass or two of red wine a day should do the trick, helping repair cells in arteries that feed the heart.

In a study being published in the journal Nature, scientists looked at the increased longevity in certain regions of France. They found that Madiran wines produced in the southwest of France, where men live longer than the average, have higher levels of procyanidins. Winemakers in the region use tannat grapes and soak them longer with their seeds than most wineries, boosting the amount of procyanidins in the juice.

Madiran wines produced in the region are often about 70 percent tannat, blended with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Tannat grapes have also been widely planted in Argentina and Uruguay.

Procyanidins have also been found in dark chocolate, cranberries and apples.

No comments: