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What a Daily Glass of Wine Does Over Time

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Wine is the Goldilocks of the health world. Too much can raise blood pressure and the risk of certain cancers. Too little and people may not get the benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

The amount that’s just right, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is a nightly glass of wine with dinner–for some people, anyway.

Researchers wanted to see what happened when people with well-controlled Type 2 diabetes added to a Mediterranean-focused diet either a glass of red or white wine or mineral water with dinner every day for two years. When the study was over, the red-wine drinkers had significantly increased “good” HDL cholesterol and a more beneficial cholesterol ratio compared with the group that drank water.

“This is really solid gold-standard research,” says Dr. James O’Keefe, chief of preventive cardiology at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, who was not involved in the study. “It confirms our intuition about the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol intake.”


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Write to Mandy Oaklander at mandy.oaklander@time.com