Which wine is better for the heart red or white? It depends on whom you ask. French researchers gave rats white wine, red wine or 6 percent ethanol .
At first, all three groups of rodents showed about a 70 percent reduction in the clumping of blood platelets (which helps form blood clots). But when the rats were deprived of alcohol for 18 hours, the
platelet clotting response increased 46 percent in the white wine group and 124 percent in the ethanol group.
But the red wine drinking rats showed a desirable 59 percent drop in clotting response. “The platelets of the rats drinking red wine did not exhibit the rebound effect observed hours after alcohol drinking, eventually associated with sudden death and stroke in humans,” wrote the researchers.
A study by researchers at the Kenneth L. Jordan Heart Foundation and Research Center in Montclair, New Jersey, on the other hand, found that white wine may be more beneficial than red. The researchers had 20 men and women with high cholesterol consume 180 milliliters of either red or white wine every day for a month.
The subjects then switched to the other type of wine for another month. These individuals ate whatever they wanted. While neither group had significant changes in total or “good” HDL cholesterol, the
white wine lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol from 167 to 155 milligrams/deciliter. The researchers also found that both groups’ blood showed a decreased clotting response.
And investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland, California, analyzed both red wine drinkers and white wine drinkers and found that both groups have lower risks of coronary heart disease.
The upshot? “Classically, red wine has been thought to be more preventive than white wine, and there’s some persuasive evidence in support of red wine and that it probably has a more complex effect
within the body,” says Dr. Pashkow.
But not every expert agrees that red wine is a better cholesterol buster. “There’s no difference (between red and white wine),” says William P. Castelli, M.D., medical director of the Framingham Cardiovascular Institute, a wellness program at Metro West Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. “All of the scientific evidence points to either one as helping to lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease.”