Drinking red wine with dinner may improve the heart health of people with Type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.
Introducing moderate wine consumption to group of teetotal patients led to healthier blood fat profiles, including a greater amount of "good" cholesterol compared with "bad", said scientists.
Some individuals whose bodies broke down alcohol slowly also achieved better blood sugar control.
The same benefits were not seen with white wine, suggesting that it was the plant compound ingredients in red wine that were important.
Lead scientist Professor Iris Shai, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, said: "The differences found between red and white wine were opposed to our original hypothesis that the beneficial effects of wine are mediated predominantly by the alcohol."
The study involved 224 diabetes patients (aged 45 to 75) who generally abstained from alcohol.
They were randomly assigned 150 millilitres of mineral water, white wine or red wine to drink with their evening meal over a period of two years.
The findings are reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.