Before you enjoy that bottle of wine for your romantic Valentine's Day dinner and touch glasses, you may really be toasting to your health.
Scientists say they have found evidence that the pulp of grapes appears just as heart-healthy in laboratory experiments as the skin. The study, which appeared last year in the American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, challenges the idea that red wine is more heart-healthy white wine.
Past studies indicated that the cardioprotective compounds in grapes — polyphenolic antioxidants — reside in the skin and seeds. Grape skins, which contain purple pigment, are crushed with the pulp to make red wines. But the skins are separated from the pulp to make most white wine. That situation led to the conventional belief that red wines and red grape juice are the most heart healthy.
Dipak K. Das, of the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine, headed the study. It was done with colleagues form the University of Milan and several other research institutes in Italy.
"Although further study is needed to identify the principle ingredients responsible for the cardioprotective abilities of the grape flesh, to the best of our knowledge, our study provides evidence for the first time that the flesh of grapes is equally cardioprotective with respect to the skins," the researchers report.