A glass of red wine with dinner every night has been found to improve the metabolic profiles of people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.
A study of more than 200 diabetes patients saw them split into three equal groups, drinking either mineral water, white wine or red wine respectively with their evening meal every night for two years.
The results showed that red wine was found to be superior in improving metabolic profiles, by modestly increasing good (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1 (one of the major constituents of HDL cholesterol), while decreasing the ratio between total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.
Wine of either type did not affect medication usage, blood pressure, or liver function tests.
Although both wine groups modestly improved glucose metabolism, overall, improvements in the metabolic profiles were mainly attributed to red wine.
The prevalence of diabetes is described as becoming of epidemic proportions, and there are now more than three million adults in England who suffer from it, with the figure expected to rise to 4.6 million by 2030.
But those who look after themselves by eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular exercise can make treating their diabetes easier.
The study was led by Professor Iris Shai of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and was being presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic, this week.
The authors said: "This first long-term large-scale alcohol trial suggests that initiating moderate wine intake, especially red wine, among well-controlled T2D, and as part of a healthy diet, is apparently safe and decreases cardiometabolic risk.
"While the genetic interaction supports specific causal roles for ethanol, the red wine's superiority suggests that non-alcoholic constituents of red wine could be having a positive impact."