Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How Heart-Healthy is Alcohol?

Many people have toasted the news that drinking one glass of wine a day actually has positive effects on the heart. However, recent studies suggest drinking a glass or two of wine may not be such a good idea. New Zealand scientists found any protection from light to moderate drinking will be very small and unlikely to outweigh the damage.

The scientists believe studies, which suggested a 20-25 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease linked to light drinking, could not be confirmed and that the findings could be due to other factors.

As I've said before about studies touting all the "benefits" of drinking red wine, I personally do not advocate it. There are many health experts that feel it is fine in moderation, but I am still not convinced. Plus, drinking two or more glasses (of wine or any alcoholic beverage for that matter) may offset the benefit and increase your risk of certain cancers.

If you absolutely insist on drinking red wine, check on the growing conditions of the grapes used and how the wine is made. And if you can, take a brisk walk to pick it up, as exercise is your real ticket to preventing heart disease.

BBC News December 2, 2005

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