Red wine helps regulate blood sugar. Photo: MorgueFile, supafine
Researchers from Vienna have come up with an early Christmas present for red wine lovers. A glass a day, they say, could help regulate blood sugar - which means a regular tipple might help protect against type 2 diabetes.
Writing in the journal Food and Function, they also suggest a daily glass of red wine could help people who already have type 2 diabetes to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
That's because a red wine contains natural chemicals called polyphenols (a type of antioxidant), which - according to previous studies - may help the body control its glucose levels. And while all types of wine contains polyphenols, red wine contains the highest levels, say the researchers.
Polyphenols, they claim, bind to a molecule (or receptor) that's involved in the regulation of blood sugar. And in tests, the researchers discovered there were enough polyphenols in a small glass of red wine to rival the blood sugar-regulating effect of a widely-used diabetes drug.
Leading diabetes charity Diabetes UK, however, is warning that the research is limited, and that diabetics should be wary of drinking wine since the extra calories could lead to weight gain.
Of course it's not the first study - and it certainly won't be the last - to suggest drinking red wine has health benefits. It is, however, a matter of how much you drink, with most studies that claim drinking wine is good for your health suggesting a moderate intake of just one or two small glasses a day.
What's your favourite tipple (and do you drink it for your health or for pure enjoyment)?