Now white wine has the health benefits of red

'The first of a new generation of wines deliberately enriched with antioxidants'

London - If you're a confirmed white wine drinker but want all the health benefits that red has to offer, French scientists may have just the thing for you.

They have developed a wine called Paradoxe Blanc that is rich in polyphenols which may help to prevent heart disease.

"Polyphenols are concentrated in the skin of grapes, and it's mostly the way red wine is made that gives it a higher polyphenol content," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

Pierre-Louis Teissedre and a team of scientists at the University of Montpellier in France used white grapes containing plenty of polyphenols and altered the wine making process to produce a white with all the reported benefits of its red counterpart.

Polyphenols are antioxidants which destroy harmful substances called free radicals that can cause cancer. They may also help to keep arteries clear and reduce heart disease.

Paradoxe Blanc, a pun on the so-called French paradox of low heart disease in a country whose people enjoy a rich diet, was originally developed for people with Type 1 diabetes whose bodies cannot destroy free radicals efficiently.

Tests of the wine suggest a glass or two a day restores antioxidant levels in diabetics, according to the magazine.

"But the team has yet to show that their wine keeps arteries clear of fat deposits and thus reduces the chances of heart attack or strokes," it added.

Although the benefits of a glass or two of red wine a day have been well documented, medical experts now say that equal amounts of other alcoholic drinks are just as good.

But wine makers are undeterred by the scepticism.

"Paradoxe Blanc, now available commercially, is just the first of a new generation of wines deliberately enriched with antioxidants," the magazine said.