DRINKING wine protects the heart from disease, a study has shown.
Both red and white can have a positive effect on arteries thanks to the nutrients in grapes, not the alcohol.
Experts say the key ingredients are the polyphenols — also found in vegetables and grains.
Dr Rudolph Schutte, of Anglia Ruskin University, arrived at the conclusion after comparing rates of illness in 446,000 people whose details are stored in the UK Bio-bank database.
He said: “There is an undeniable protective relationship between coronary heart disease and consumption of both red and white wine.
“However, this is not seen with the other cardiovascular diseases.
“This relationship is also seen for alcohol-free wine, so it suggests the benefits are thanks to the polyphenols in the wine rather than the alcohol.”
Dr Schutte told the British Science Festival that the NHS’s 14 units a week booze guideline was not safe as any amount of alcohol can damage the heart.