By Joe Millis
Good news for diabetics - a study suggests that a glass of red wine a night could help them stay healthy.
People drinking a medium glass of red with dinner every night for two years had better levels of "good" cholesterol than those drinking either white wine or water.
Experts from Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel, say that moderate amounts of alcohol or some other compound found in red wine could be protective, the latest finding in a hugely controversial field, The Times reported.
In the latest study, 224 people with type 2 diabetes were told to drink 150ml of either red wine, white wine or mineral water with their evening meal for two years accompanied by a Mediterranean diet. The wine was from the Golan Heights Winery, and those surveyed had regular meetings with dieticians.
After two years, red wine drinkers had higher levels of HDL cholesterol, researchers tell the European Congress on Obesity in Prague. Both red and white drinkers saw improvements in their glucose metabolism.
"This first long-term large scale alcohol trial suggests that initiating moderate wine intake, especially red-wine, among well-controlled type 2 diabetes, and as part of healthy diet, is apparently safe and decreases cardiometabolic risk," say researchers led by Professor Iris Shai of the university.
The researchers added: "While the genetic interaction supports specific causal roles for ethanol, the red-wine's superiority suggests that non-alcoholic constituents of red wine could be having a positive impact."
Drinking wine did not appear to affect medication, blood pressure or liver function, they add.