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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Red wine 'protects from colds'
French vineyard (Associated Press)
Red wine is said to be good for the heart
Another health benefit has been attributed to red wine - fighting off the common cold.

According to scientists in Spain, drinking wine, especially red, stops people from developing colds.

Something in wine seems to have a protective effect because the same was not seen with beer and spirits.

The evidence comes from a year long study of 4,000 volunteers.

Experts at five universities found that people who drank more than two glasses of red wine a day had 44% fewer colds than teetotallers.

Drinking one glass of red wine a day also protected against colds, but to a lesser extent.

Lifestyle factors

Red wine has been associated with a number of health benefits, including a lower rate of heart disease.

An ingredient in red wine may also prevent herpes, according to a recent study.

The ability of red wine to ward off colds may be due to its antioxidant properties, according to Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University.

Lifestyle factors - such as sipping red wine at home rather than drinking in crowded pubs - could also be a factor, he said.

Binge drinking

The British Heart Foundation warns that while moderate drinking may have a beneficial effect on health, too much alcohol is risky.

"Moderate drinking between one and two units a day has a 'protective' effect in preventing heart attacks in men over 4O years of age and postmenopausal women," said a spokesperson.

"High levels of alcohol intake, particularly binge drinking, can increase the risk of coronary heart disease."

See also:

19 Dec 01 | Health
Why red wine is healthier
19 Sep 00 | Health
Red wine 'can stop herpes'
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