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The vine help

• So it looks like Thomas Jefferson may have been right after all, given the recent discovery with respect to the beneficial effects of red wine in the fight against cancer (Irish Independent 'Health', March 20). The renowned American founding father and third president of the United States once said: "Wine, from long habit, has become an indispensable for my health."

However, he wasn't the first to come to this conclusion, as the following quote from the Babylonian Talmud demonstrates.

"Wine is at the head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary."

While the study, which was performed at the prestigious National Institute of Health in the US, still requires further research, it would have been of some comfort to the famous wit WC Fields, were he still alive today, who once "cooked with wine and sometimes even added it to the food".

In fact, he was so convinced of the "healing powers" of red wine that he once indignantly asked: "What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"

Mark Lawler
Kilmainham, D8

Irish Independent