A Little Alcohol Is Good for Your Heart

A drink or two a day could keep the heart doctor away, suggests a recently completed review of 30 years of medical research.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Good news for responsible drinkers! A drink or two a day could keep the heart doctor away, suggests a recently completed review of 30 years of medical research. Scientists at the University of Calgary examined 84 studies completed between 1980 and 2009, and found a 14% to 25% reduction in heart disease among moderate drinkers as compared to lifelong teetotalers. This was true no matter what form of alcohol people drank—wine, beer, or spirits.

In a separate study, the same Canadian team found that alcohol increases “good” cholesterol levels, as well as levels of adiponectin and apolipoprotein, compounds linked to a healthy heart.

However, while consuming small quantities of alcohol appears to have health benefits, heavy drinking increases the overall risk of mortality—from liver problems, accidents, cancer, and other illnesses.

“If you don’t drink, this is not a reason to start,” Cathy Ross, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, told BBC.com. “Similar results can be achieved by being physically active and eating a balanced and healthy diet.”

Source: BBC, British Medical Journal

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