Another score for red wine devotees: On top of protecting against cell damage and memory decline, improving muscle strength and heart health, fighting cancer cells, decreasing mortality, shooting down stroke and heart-disease risks and being the perfect, oaky end to a hectic (or really, any) day, red wine is now shown to boost cardiovascular health and manage cholesterol levels for certain people with type 2 diabetes.
Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers followed 224 participants between the ages of 40 and 75 with well-managed type 2 diabetes, all of whom were not alcohol drinkers. The participants were randomly given one of three beverages to drink with dinner: 150 milliliters of mineral water, white wine or red wine. Genetic markers, blood pressure, waist circumference, liver biomarkers, medication use and quality of life were noted at the beginning of the study then revisited two years later. All participants maintained Mediterranean diets—think fish, olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and legumes—throughout the course of the study.
After two years, the researchers observed that the subjects who drank red wine saw significantly improved health markers compared to the others. The red wine-imbibing group experienced an increase in HDL (good, heart-loving) cholesterol levels, as well as fewer symptoms of “metabolic syndrome,” which comprises hypertension, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess fat around the abdominal area and unhealthy cholesterol levels.
The reason why red wine proved superior to white wine is still being researched, although experts are primarily pointing to the fact that red contains seven times more plant-based phenols—including the much-admired resveratrol—than white.
There is one catch, though: The benefits of a glass of nightly red wine isn’t for everyone with type 2 diabetes. The team saw variances in health improvements depending on genetic differences, so further research is needed to definitively determine which type 2 patients would truly reap the benefits of a nightly Cab.
Whether or not you have type 2 diabetes, current research seems to say, generally speaking, a glass a day won’t hurt anyone (at worst) and will help us live longer (at best)—as long as you don’t go overboard. So unless your physician says otherwise, swirl, sniff and sip.