New research suggests Armagnac can help fight obesity when drunk regularly and in moderation.

Scientists at the University of Bordeaux found that when laboratory rats on a high-fat diet were given Armagnac, they didn't gain weight in the same way as the control rats that were not fed it.

"The same experiment conducted using pure alcohol had a lesser effect," said a spokeswoman for the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de L'Armagnac.

Initial theories suggest that it may be the grapes or the Gascon wood in which Armagnac is aged that is ­­responsible.