Light-to-moderate drinking good for your heart

Feb 18, 2016

People who drink wine, liquor or beer regularly are less prone to heart failure and heart attacks than those who rarely or never drink. Three to five drinks a week can be good for your heart.

Drinking a little alcohol every day may be part of a healthy lifestyle, according to Imre Janszky, a professor of social medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He says alcohol does more good than harm for your heart when consumed in moderation.

And, Janszky says, it doesn’t matter much whether you drink wine, liquor or beer.

“It’s primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things. But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure. So it’s best to drink moderate amounts relatively often,” he says.

Decreased risk with each additional serving

Along with a number of colleagues from NTNU and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Janszky has published two studies regarding the relationship between alcohol and heart health. One, published in the January 15 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology, is about heart failure. The second, from September 2015, is on acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and has been published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

In both cases, research shows that people who regularly drink alcohol have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol.

The studies showed that those who drank three to five drinks per week were 33 per cent less prone to heart failure than those who abstained or drank infrequently. In the case of heart attacks, the risk appears to be reduced by 28 percent with each additional one-drink increment.

This does not surprise the researchers at all.

A majority of researchers worldwide seem to think three to five drinks a week can be good for your heart.

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