A glass of red is NOT good for the heart: Scientists debunk the myth that drinking in moderation has health benefits

An occasional glass of wine does not benefit your heart, according to a review of 45 studies.  Previous studies have suggested moderate drinkers have lower heart disease rates than teetotalers, leading to the widespread myth that the occasional indulgence boosts our heart health.  This gives the false illusion of an association between moderate drinking and better health, the researchers said.

Lead author Dr. Tim Stockwell, director of the Center for Addictions Research at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, said: ‘The notion that one or two drinks a day is doing us good may just be wishful thinking.’  Researchers followed more than 9,100 adults from the UK aged between 23 and 55.  They found that moderate drinkers – defined as those who had up to two alcoholic beverages a day – had a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers.

Dr. Stockwell, said: ‘We know that people generally cut down on drinking as they age, especially if they have health problems.  ‘People who continue to be moderate drinkers later in life are healthier.  ‘We can’t “prove” it one way or the other.  But we can say there are grounds for a healthy skepticism around the idea that moderate drinking is good for you.’    (*Source: MailOnline Monday, 23 May 2017)

The researchers also revealed that people’s drinking habits change over time, with few people typically being lifelong alcohol abstainers.  The review is published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.  These findings contradict a recent study by the University of Cambridge that found men and women who drink moderately – no more than 14 units a week – are at less risk of heart problems than teetotalers.  Yet, adults who exceed this limit – defined as heavy drinkers – greatly increase their risk of common heart complications, they found.

(*http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4529928/A-glass-red-wine-NOT-good-heart.html)

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