The end of a long day is an excuse to take a drink. As it turns out, there is a popular belief that alcohol especially red wine is good for the heart. Although the truth isn’t clearly defined, a recent study from BMC Medicine suggests that daily light drinking of alcohol can be beneficial to your health.
Alcohol And Your Heart
The jury is still out on whether or not moderate drinking of alcohol is good for your heart. However, Johns Hopkins cardiologist John William McEvoy says that moderate intake of alcohol doesn’t appear to be harmful to most people. A sip of it now and then is believed to be beneficial to the heart.
Studies have shown an association between a lower risk of dying from heart disease and moderate intake of alcohol. But McEvoy says that it is difficult to determine the effect and cause of those studies. He stated that people who drink red wine are more likely to eat healthy diets. Nevertheless, many researchers like Larraitz Arriola, MD, of the Public Health Department of Gipuzkoa in San Sebastian, Spain find alcohol beneficial to both men and women.
Amount Of Alcohol Intake And Heart Risk
”Our study confirms what many other studies have already said.”By Larraitz Arriola
This reduction in heart risk is as follows:
- High and very high levels of drinking reduced heart risk by 50% and 54%
- Light drinking reduced heart risk by 35%
- Moderate drinking reduced heart risk by 51%
- For patients with heart disease, drinking an average of 6 grams of alcohol each day resulted in a 50% risk reduction of heart attack, stroke, and even death.
- People averaging about 8 grams per day saw a 27 % reduced risk of death and morbidity compared to people who did not drink at all.
- Former drinkers had a 10% risk reduction.
The research conducted by Arriola and her colleagues also found out that alcohol has a beneficial effect on women’s heart health.
How Can Alcohol Help Your Heart
A few drinks in moderate proportions are good for the heart. Moderate intake of alcohol is seen to protect both women and men from heart diseases. One drink which is 1.5ounces of 80-proof drinks or 12 ounces of beer may help your heart in the following ways:
- It raises “good” cholesterol
- It prevents blood clotting
- It also helps prevent damage caused by “bad” cholesterol
Who Shouldn’t Drink?
Most people can enjoy the benefits of alcohol if they keep their drinking light or moderate. However, people with certain heart issues should not take alcohol because it can be harmful to them. People with the following conditions should avoid taking alcohol:
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Pregnant women
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Persons with a history of alcoholism
Some medications do not mix well with alcohol. But if you have any of conditions mentioned above and you want to take alcohol, consult your doctor first.