A new study from Spain shows that polyphenols from red wine may improve glucose metabolism in men at high risk of heart disease.
Red wine is abundant in polyphenols, a potent type of antioxidant. The study authors believe that drinking a daily glass of red wine for four weeks can provide a significant improvement in glucose metabolism, as measured by insulin resistance, according to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers from the University of Barcelona and the University of Valencia recruited 67 men at high risk for cardiovascular disease and randomly assigned each to consume a red wine (30 g of alcohol per day), dealcoholized red wine, and gin (30 g of alcohol per day), for four weeks.
The researchers found that both forms of wine decreased insulin resistance between 22 and 30%, and between 14 and 22% compared to the gin group. Additionally, red wine and gin improved HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, compared to the dealcoholized red wine group, suggesting that these benefits are related to the alcohol, rather than the polyphenol content.
The researchers concluded: “In our study both red wine and de-alcoholized red wine improved insulin sensitivity which, together with prior findings, suggests that both ethanol and polyphenols are responsible for this beneficial effect.”