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Screw Tamiflu--drink white wine!

More good news for us wine lovers. Now, it's not only red wine that's good for us. White wine, it turns out, can help us ward off potentially deadly flu viruses:

White wine may prove to be effective in combating bird flu, according to a study cited by the Italian Wines Union(UIV).

Scientists have known for some time that white wine, like red wine, is beneficial in combating cholesterol. However, a recent study found that white wine and white grape juice contain the active ingredients in Tamiflu, considered by many experts to be one of the most promising medicines against bird flu.

The study was published by the British Medical Journal and found that white wine grapes contain shikimic acid and quercitin, the primary ingredients in the Chinese star anise plant used to make Tamiflu.

According Alberto Bertelli, a University of Milan researcher and scientific advisor to UIV, while caution is needed consuming star anise, the same benefits can be achieved by drinking a glass of white wine or white grape juice a day.

Furthermore, while there is an abundance of white wine in the world, supplies of Chinese star anise are limited and there is the risk of mistaking it with the Japanese star anise plant, which is highly toxic.

Drinking white wine is apparently also good for the lungs. According to a June 2002 study by the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, people who drink white wine regularly have healthier lungs than people who do not drink alcohol at all, and those who drink beer, spirits and even red wine.

A flood of scientific studies have shown that drinking two glasses of red wine has a beneficial effect in preventing diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinsons as well as cholesterol-related cardiovascular conditions.

This is because the alcohol and antioxidants in red wine help increase the levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol and lower the levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol and even eliminate it from the heart and blood passages.

The prime substance in red wine which produces these benefits is resveratrol, which is found in red grape skins.

More recently, studies have discovered that white wine, which is not fermented 'in the skin', contains tyrosine, a molecule which acts in a similar way to resveratrol.

The positive effects of both red and white wines, experts warned, are only beneficial when wines is consumed in moderation.

Well, on that note--the German in me is very pleased. Make mine a Pieroth Blue--and bottoms up!