Research has proven that moderate alcohol consumption of about a drink a day is associated with a 14-25% reduced risk of developing heart disease in comparison to not drinking alcohol at all. A balance however needs to be found between the bad effects of excessive alcohol consumption, and the health benefits of alcohol consumption in moderation. Safe alcohol consumption of 1 drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks a day for men can be beneficial for health. Good cholesterol levels are significantly increased with moderate quantities of alcohol and this helps to protect against heart disease.
The research strengthens the case that there is an association between reduced heart disease and moderate alcohol consumption. A number of earlier studies have come to the conclusion that moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to a reduction in heart disease, and 84 studies of heart disease and alcohol consumption were reviewed. The outcomes in relation to stroke incidence and death from having a stroke, heart disease and death from heart disease were compared in drinkers of alcohol with non-drinkers of alcohol.
Sixty three studies were reviewed and consumption of alcohol was investigated together with recognized physical markers for heart disease like inflammation levels, cholesterol, the condition of blood vessels and fat cells. The impact of the kind of alcohol that was consumed, such as beer, spirits and wine was also assessed.
The researchers concluded that it’s the alcohol content which provides the health benefits and not the kind of alcoholic beverage which is consumed.