Study finds no evidence that alcohol helps heart
A new study has found that even light to moderate consumption of alcohol may not be good for heart health.
In the study, light to moderate drinking was defined as between 0.6 and 0.8 fluid ounces of alcohol a day, which equates to about one glass of wine. Scientists from the U.K., continental Europe, North America and Australia collected data on drinking habits and heart health of more than 260,000 people.
The researchers found that people with a particular gene consumed 17 percent less alcohol per week, were less likely to binge drink and were more likely to abstain from alcohol altogether than people who don't have the gene. And people with the gene had, on average, a 10 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index (BMI).
The scientists explained that the study, published in BMJ, contradicts previous research suggesting that only heavy drinking is bad for the heart and that light drinking may actually have some health benefits. This new study, by contrast, concludes that anyone--even light to moderate drinkers--can help their heart by drinking less.