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Archive for April 30th, 2007

Good and Bad in Red Wine

Posted by David Bradley on April 30th, 2007

Resveratrol in Red WineStudy after study seems to conclude that resveratrol and related compound found in red wine have health benefits, despite the fact that red wine also contains a potent toxin, ethanol.

Now, Richard Hoffman and Conny Johansson working at the University of Hertfordshire, England, have carried out tests on a random selection of red wines to determine the levels of resveratrol.

Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant found in red wine and red grape skins, thought to protect against a range of illnesses and diseases including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or other dementias, cancer and heart disease. According to Hoffman, this is the first time a systematic study of resveratrol levels in a range of wines has been carried out.

Hoffman and Johansson used HPLC LC-MS to separate and collect the compounds found in the wines. “We assume that all red wines are the same,” he says, “but we have found this is certainly not the case as the levels of resveratrol vary between labels.”

The researchers hope to be able to recommend the healthiest bottle of red wine based on resveratrol levels and will soon begin working with wine suppliers and retailers to include health indicators on bottles. As ever, such research is not an excuse to drink red wine (shame), but will at least allow those who drink it the chance to offset some of the detrimental effects of the ethanol against the positive effects of the resveratrol. Almost like carbon offsetting in environmental policy, but for drinkers.