While there always seems to be mixed evidence about the healthfulness or dangers of alcohol consumption, add another “point” in the win column for those who like to partake in a little bubbly now again. In fact, if researchers have their way, this debate is over.
A new study from the University of Calgary is saying that moderate alcohol consumption can cut your risk of fatal cardiac diseases by as much as 25 percent. Cheers!
The good news is that this study isn’t flimsy at all. The researchers went over 60 years of data and as many as a million people involved in the studies. According to the current study’s authors, this is the most comprehensive analysis to date on the relationship between moderate drinking and heart ailments.
“One of the compelling findings was that there are a lot of studies that have been done,” says Susan Brien, a post-doctoral community health researcher at the University of Calgary. “There really doesn’t need to be any more studies.”
The Calgary study looked at 80 previous research papers published between 1950 and 2009.
One example of how moderate alcohol consumption has been found to be beneficial is that HDL cholesterol, also known as the “good” kind of cholesterol, increased with moderate alcohol consumption in a number of the 63 previous studies.
Inflammation and blood vessel clotting also appeared to happen less. Interestingly, Brien says that these benefits came no matter what alcohol you consumed.
Remember that this isn’t a prescription for partying. Moderate drinking means one a day for women and two for men. Anything more and all bets are off. That doesn’t mean you are automatically at risk for heart disease if you occasionally have two or three drinks, just make that the exception. And of course, drinking is not for everyone, so speak with your doctor if there are any doubts as to whether or not you should partake.
(via: The Toronto Star)
February 26th, 2011