Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Red wine beneficial for red meat eaters

The red meat and red wine combination may have more to do with health benefits than a taste sensation, scientists say.

Research on rats using red wine with red meat has shown the drink cancels out some of the harmful substances produced by the meat.

Chemicals released during the digestion of fat have been linked to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's.

Rats were fed either only red meat or red meat with red wine concentrate. The wine mixture was found to reduce two toxic chemicals, the scientists report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The Israeli research is not the first to extol the health benefits of red wine previous studies credit it with a reduction in the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Redcliffs butcher Brian Jennings said he was feeling fit and healthy with a diet that included red wine with meat.

"But I always eat broccoli and things like that that are supposed to be anti-cancer stuff," he said.

"When I started butchering 25 years ago, red meat had a bad name because of the fat but it's only in the last 10 years it's been promoted as a health food.

"We trim it a lot harder these days."

Butcher Brian Jennings said he occasionally checked whether a customer had a nice red.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said historically New Zealanders were a white wine-drinking bunch.

"Red wine is something that is more challenging for consumers to get into as a wine stock," he said.

"When people are beginning to drink wine, they drink white wine first and I think New Zealand is still in that phase.

"Historically, people have always said `drink red wine with red meat' from a taste perspective and it's really interesting that this research has shown there may be something to it from a chemical perspective. It's a nice linkage."