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Many scientific studies have been searching for the answer to the so-called ‘French Paradox” this concerns the anomaly of people in southern French and other Mediterranean countries having an incidence of coronary heart disease which is significantly lower than that in other developed countries, despite a high consumption of fat. Scientists now think that diet, in particular regular intake of red wine, is responsible for this cardio-protective effect.

All wine contains what are known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins. These contain many principles, which are protective of health in a number of ways, but it is red wine that is the most significant. This is because of the skins, which in red wines are left to ferment with the crushed grapes and juices to add flavor and color. (In white wines, fermentation takes place after the skins have been removed.) A substance called resveratrol is present in grape skins which is thought to contain many healthy properties: in a study the most resveratrol was found in a red French Bordeaux, the least in its white counterpart. Resveratrol has anti-clotting properties and this protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease. Other wine compounds, including flavonoids and antioxidants, are though to protect against infection, cancer and dementia.
A friendly word of warning, though, to those tempted to hit the bottle at this point. Two to four daily glasses of red wine are the level associated with decreased incidence of disease. Moderate drinkers live longer and are less likely to die from heart disease than teetotalers, but those with a tendency to drink too much place huge strains on heart, liver and digestive tract. It is interesting and healthy to note that red grape juice has the same properties as red wine.
Wine in itself is not a cure-all, nor is it the only reason for the French Paradox, but it is certainly the most fun. A votre santé. 

Source: Blanc Vite

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