Moderated alcohol consumption reduces the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular problems, according to two new scientific studies. However, it remains unclear whether all types of alcohol provide the same health benefits in humans. In this, however, agreed by the two research groups is that increased alcohol consumption increases the risk for the human health. There is now irrefutable evidence that alcohol, when consumed regularly in small amounts, up to one glass a day for women and two for men, provides protection against cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of more than four to five drinks per day, and during periods of heavy drinking, have the opposite effect, commented in an editorial in the journal Circulation neurologists Stefan Thrush and Johan Vileit Medical from University of Innsbruck.
In the first study, a scientific team of McMaster University in Canada, analyzed data from 52 countries, comparing 12,000 cases of first myocardial and 15,000 people with no history of heart problems. The analysis showed that moderated alcohol consumption reduces by 13% average the risk of a heart attack, compared with those who did not drink at all. Consuming six or more drinks in the previous 24 hours increases by 40% the risk of a heart attack, especially for people over 65 years old. According to the same “before anyone recommends moderated consumption of alcohol as appropriate, it is given that alcohol can not act protectively for all people, while also implicated as a risk factor in some cancers. However, there is no doubt that heavy drinking should be avoided. We do not know if in an individual level there is a safe limit for the use of alcohol, this requires further study.
In the second study, led by Dr. Otto Stackelberg from the Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, studied data on 70,000 men and women aged over 45, which is related to the period 1998-2011. Researchers have correlated the consumption of alcohol by incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is mainly men over 60 years old. From the analysis of the data they found out that men who drank four to six glasses of alcohol per week, have on average 20% less likely to suffer from abdominal aortic aneurysm, while women experience even lower risk of 44%, compared with people who drink less than one to two glasses of alcohol per week. The risk continues to be reduced by drinking up to ten glasses per week for men and five for women. Among spirits, beer and wine seem to further reduce any risk.
However, Dr. Stackelberg states that “I would not advise anyone to start drinking alcohol if you do not already do so. However a low to moderated consumption does not seem to hurt most people, so neither will discourage those who want to drink a little with their food.
By Nicole P.