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The Truth About Alcohol and Heart Health

Written on September 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm , by

drinks

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

The idea that alcohol may be good for your heart has been around for a while. (But while moderate drinking may offer health benefits, drinking more can cause a host of health problems.) Here’s what you need to know…

Research on Alcohol and Heart Disease
As research on this topic has continued to expand, researchers recently conducted another systematic review of 63 studies that examined adults without known cardiovascular disease before and after alcohol use. This latest meta-analysis was published in a 2011 issue of the British Medical Journal.

The analysis of these numerous studies suggests that moderate alcohol consumption (defined below) helps to protect against heart disease by:

  • Raising HDL “good” cholesterol
  • Increasing apolipoprotein A1, a protein that has a specific role in lipid (fat) metabolism and is a major component of HDL “good” cholesterol
  • Decreasing fibrinogen, a soluble plasma glycoprotein that is a part of blood clot formation
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing plaque accumulation in the arteries
  • Decreasing the clumping of platelets and the formation of blood clots

However, these studies did not show any relationship between moderate alcohol intake and total cholesterol level or LDL “bad” cholesterol. And while some studies associated alcohol intake to increased triglycerides, the most recent analysis of moderate alcohol intake in healthy adults showed no such relationship.

What’s the Definition of “Moderate” Alcohol Consumption?
A moderate alcohol intake is defined as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. One drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol and is defined as:

  • 12 fl. oz. of regular beer (5% alcohol)
  • 4-5 fl. oz. of wine (12% alcohol)
  • 1.5 fl. oz. of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol)
  • 1 fl. oz. of 100-proof distilled spirits (50% alcohol)

Are Certain Types of Alcohol Better Than Others?
While a few research studies suggest that wine maybe more beneficial than beer or sprits in the prevention of heart disease, most studies do not support an association between type of alcoholic beverage and the prevention of heart disease. At present time, drinking wine for its antioxidant content to prevent heart disease is an unproven strategy. It still remains unclear whether red wine offers any heart-protecting advantage over white wine or other types of alcoholic beverages.

Continued: Get more  facts about your health and alcohol…


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  • sam

    This is a LIE,Here is the TRUTH

    Alcohol causes nearly 4 percent of deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence, the World Health Organization warned on Friday.

    Rising incomes have triggered more drinking in heavily populated countries in Africa and Asia, including India and South Africa, and binge drinking is a problem in many developed countries, the United Nations agency said.

    Yet alcohol control policies are weak and remain a low priority for most governments despite drinking’s heavy toll on society from road accidents, violence, disease, child neglect and job absenteeism, it said.

    Approximately 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol related causes, the WHO said in its “Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health.”

    “The harmful use of alcohol is especially fatal for younger age groups and alcohol is the world’s leading risk factor for death among males aged 15-59,” the report found.

  • sam

    And it Also is the Biggest cause of death and disease in AMERICA:

    Almost half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. 7

    Between 48% and 64% of people who die in fires have blood alcohol levels indicating intoxication. 8

    Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation.

    Alcohol and drug abuse costs the American economy an estimated $276 billion per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures, crime, motor vehicle crashes and other conditions. 10

    Untreated addiction is more expensive than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined. 11

    Every American adult pays nearly $1,000 per year for the damages of addiction

  • sam

    So what does society do about this MAJOR KILLER ?

    BAN SMOKING which does non of the ABOVE,and Does not,Yes DOES NOT KILL OTHERS.

  • sam

    So i say to all you FIT PEOPLE,Stay away from ALCOHOL its a POISON