Sherry has joined Guinness and red wine on the growing list of alcoholic drinks that are good for our health when consumed in moderation.

According to scientists in Spain, a daily glass of the fortified wine controls cholesterol levels in much the same way as red wine.

The Seville University study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, found that sherry contained antioxidants, like those found in red wine, that reduce the occurrence of coronary artery disease. These anti- oxidants work by preventing the oxidation of low density lipoproteins, which are linked to the disease.

Juan Guerrero, one of the researchers, said: "Sherry is widely consumed, especially in Spain and the UK, and we have shown that its moderate intake decreased total cholesterol and increased high-density lipo- protein cholesterol, which is good for you.

"As a general rule, moderate consumption of red wine exerts beneficial effects for health. In our research, the beneficial effects of red wine can be extended to sherry wines."

Last year, scientists in Wisconsin published research that showed Guinness reduced the risk of blood clots that cause heart attacks. They said that dark beer was rich in flavenoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects, combating the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.