White wine may be just as good for the heart as red, says a new study.
Till recently researchers had suggested that red wine contained antioxidants that were good for the heart.
Grape skins are crushed along with the pulp to make red wine, but the skins are separated for preparing white wine. A group of American and Italian researchers compared the effects of feeding laboratory rats water or equal amounts of grape pulp extract, or grape skin extract for 30 days.
Rats fed either grape skin or grape pulp extract had significantly smaller heart attacks compared with those fed water, it said. In addition, tests showed both extracts appeared to have the same level of antioxidant activity.
Researchers say the grape skin extract did contain high levels of anthocyanins -- part of a class of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
The pulp extract did not contain anthocyanins, but it was rich in other types of polyphenols.
"Our study provides evidence for the first time that the flesh of grapes is equally cardio-protective with respect to the skins," writes researcher M. Falchi of the University of Milan.
The researchers, however, said further study is needed to identify the principal ingredients responsible for cardio-protective abilities of grape flesh.