In moderation, alcohol can prevent heart disease

Apr 15, 2011

Consuming one alcoholic drink a day may lower the risk of heart disease.

While consuming red wine has long since been known as a way to prevent heart disease, new research indicates that one alcoholic drink a day - no matter the variety - may have the same effect.

British researchers discovered that regular moderate drinking can reduce all forms of cardiovascular disease by up to 25 percent, while the overall risk of death was also lower for those consuming 2.5g to 14.9g of alcohol per day.

Furthermore, scientists found that drinking up to 15g a day for women and 30g for men can increase levels of good cholesterol in the body, also improving cardiac health. However, while drinking one or two alcoholic beverages a day can be beneficial, researchers warned that any more can exacerbate health problems.

"There is this potentially slippery slope, most notably with social problems and alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, but the overall mortality including cancer and accidents shows you would be better with alcohol," said William Ghali, a professor at the University of Calgary.

Indulging in alcohol may also lead to higher life insurance rates, as insurers consider lifestyle factors when determining premiums. 

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