According to popular belief moderate alcohol consumption may provide the following health benefits:
- Reduce the risk of developing and succumbing to heart disease
- Possibly reduce the risk of ischemic stroke
The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol has always been uncertain and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks it.
A study by the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine that included 155 investigators from the UK, continental Europe, North America, and Australia calls into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.
This new research reviewed past evidence from over 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health for more than 260,000 people.
The investigators issued the following statement:
“These new results are critically important to our understanding of how alcohol affects heart disease. Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health,” – co-lead author Michael Holmes, MD, PhD
Another study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit among others puts into doubt the claims that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of ischemic stroke.
The researchers who tested more than 300 individuals issued the following statement:
“In conclusion, we found that the risk of ischemic stroke was transiently elevated for 2 hours after drinking as little as 1 serving of alcohol.” So in reality, moderate alcohol consumption increased the risk of ischemic stroke.