Does a sweeter red wine also help fight disease?

People's Pharmacy

May 05, 2002|By Joe Graedon & Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon & Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun

Q. I have heard that red wine is good for the heart and the brain, but I don't especially like the taste of most red wines. The ones I like are sweet, such as Manischewitz Concord Grape (a sweetened kosher wine). Are there similar benefits?

A. There might be two different ingredients behind red wine's power to reduce the risk of heart and Alzheimer's disease. One is the alcohol itself. The other is a group of antioxidant compounds from grapes, called polyphenols.

A recent study showed that purple Concord grape juice, which contains polyphenols, has some activity against breast cancer cells. Presumably the sweet wine made from Concord grapes would also provide some of the benefits seen with more conventional red wines. Remember, moderation is essential -- too much of any alcoholic beverage causes more harm than good.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019, or e-mail them via their Web site, www.peoplespharmacy.org. King Features Syndicate

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