A recent study shows that one glass of red wine is not as good for the heart as initially suspected. It was originally thought that a glass or two on a night could actually help people recover after a heart attack. Now it has been found that the cardiovascular health could be improved by reducing all alcohol intake.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, states that alcohol is the fifth leading risk of disability and death. Four percent of deaths are attributed to problems with alcohol. The researchers have now found that even those who have a light to moderate alcohol consumption could be putting their hearts at risk.
This is a complete 180 on a study from just over two years ago, which showed that those who had suffered a heart attack were 42 percent less likely to die by having two glasses of red wine a night, compared to those who did not drink anything. However, only a moderate intake was shown to be useful.
So, where does the change of thought come in? In the recent study, researchers found that those who drank less were more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle overall. This included following a balanced diet and exercising. Everything working together helps to reduce the risk of further heart attacks and death after a first one.
The new research indicates that wine is not as good for the heart as previously suspected. Just 12 units can lead to a negative effect. For those who are unclear about unit measures, one large glass or one pint of beer per day is more than 12 units in one week. Those who drank less were 10 percent less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
Fifty-six different studies were considered, meaning that the habits of over 250,000 people were considered. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University College London took part in the study to examine the research.
Drinking less was also seen to improve the health overall. Those who drank little to nothing had lower BMIs and normal blood pressure. Those who already had the genetic predisposition to have less alcohol during the week would be less at risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Some people had the genetic variant ADH1B, which is associated with those who drink less to nothing. Researchers found that these people had a healthier cardiovascular profile than those who did not have that genetic variant.
Alcohol is also linked to other health problems, including liver, breast and colorectum cancers, various injuries and cirrhosis of the liver. People who drink less are reducing their risks of suffering from these problems at a later date.
The study author, Juan Casas, believes that all drinkers, including light ones, could benefit from drinking less throughout the week. It can help to improve the overall health, and protect against various cardiovascular diseases. It seems that one glass of red wine a day is not as good for the heart as previously suspected.
By Alexandria Ingham