Benefits of Alcohol

4 June 2008

Drinking small quantities of alcohol at least three or four times a week could protect men from having a heart attack. Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health Study have found that men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol three or more times a week were up to 35% less likely to have a myocardial infarction than non-drinkers. The researchers tracked the drinking habits of nearly 40,000 men over a 12-year period and looked at the effects of drinking red wine, white wine, beer and spirits. They found that no single type of beverage was better than the other, and drinking with meals made no difference. Frequent consumption was thought to be more effective because alcohol"s effect on clotting and platelets was short-lived. (New England Journal of Medicine. 2003 Jan 9;348(2):109-118)

Red wine drinkers may have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, results of a Danish study suggest. Researchers from the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen say that people who regularly drink red wine, whether daily, weekly or monthly, are significantly less likely to develop dementia than those who do not. The researchers believe that flavonoids - natural substances that have an antioxidant effect - may be responsible for the beneficial effect. Previous studies have suggested that these compounds may account for a lower incidence of stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases among wine drinkers. (Neurology 2002 Nov 12;59(9):1313-9).

A large study of nearly 25,000 people aged between 20 and 98 years, has yet again demonstrated the beneficial effects of moderate drinking, especially wine. During the study, 4833 participants died. It was found that compared to non-drinkers, light drinkers who avoided wine had a reduced relative risk of death from all causes (0.90), whilst for light drinkers who included wine the risk was even lower (0.66). Wine drinkers had a significantly lower mortality from both coronary heart disease and cancer than non-wine drinkers. Heavy drinkers who avoided wine had a higher risk of death from all causes than heavy drinkers who included wine. (Arch. Intern. Med, 2000, 133 (6) 411- 19).

: Lifestyle

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