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White wine "good for the heart"

A new study may have provided an excuse to pour another glass of white wine by indicating it is just as healthy for the heart as red.

In a research experiment, rats were given a tipple of Italian white wine with their meals and suffered less heart attack damage than animals allowed only water or raw grain alcohol.

The benefits it produced were similar to those seen in animals given red wine, or its grape-skin ingredient, resveratrol, experts at the University of Connecticut in Farmington said.

Red wine and resveratrol are thought to be the cause of the "French paradox" - the country sees low rates of heart disease despite people eating a relatively high amount of fat.

White wine is made from the pulp of grapes but not the skin and therefore contains no resveratrol, which is the ingredient said to protect against heart disease and cancer.

Molecular biologist Dipak Das gave rats the equivalent of one or two glasses of red or white Italian wine a day while others were fed "polyphenols", health-giving plant chemicals, such as resveratrol, found in white and red wines.

Among rats that had heart attacks induced, the animals given red wine, white wine or polyphenols, experienced less damage than those fed water or straight alcohol, New Scientist magazine reported.

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