Drinking in moderation good for heart health: Study

Long-term drinking has been associated with the risk of developing heart problems and other health problems. A new drinking guideline by the United Kingdom earlier this year seems to reinforce this fact when the U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sarah Jarvis said that even minimal amount of alcohol is unhealthy and can increase the risk of cancer.

But a study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, published in Journal of Cardiology in February 2016, has claimed that consuming alcohol in moderation actually helps in keeping the heart healthy.

The researchers said that three to five drinks a week can keep the health intact, and people who follow this lifestyle are 33 percent less likely to get heart failure and 28 percent less likely to get heart attacks compared to those who abstain or drink infrequently. Researcher Imre Janszky, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said, “Drinking a little alcohol every day can be part of a healthy lifestyle and added that it doesn’t matter whether a person drinks wine, liquor or beer.”

The researchers said that consuming a little alcohol every day can be considered a healthy lifestyle, irrespective of the type of alcohol consumed. It can be wine, liquor or beer. “It’s primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things. But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure, so it’s best to drink moderate amounts relatively often,” said Janszky.

Another 2015 study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggested people to take a drink every night with dinner to reap the benefits of alcohol. But Janszky also said, “I’m not encouraging people to drink alcohol all the time.”

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heavy alcohol consumption leads to high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and weight gain, which results in an increased risk of heart diseases. The report said that low to moderate alcohol consumption helps in decreasing the risk of stroke, particularly in women, due to its anti-coagulant properties. But when consumed in higher quantities, it may increase the chance of a stroke.

However, a study by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 said that even light-to-moderate drinkers need to decrease the consumption of alcoholic beverages to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and blood pressure.

Alcoholism leading cause of diseases in developing countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that alcohol dependence is the third leading cause of diseases in the developing countries. According to a report released in 2013 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 8.7 million people aged 12-20 years (22.7 percent) in America reported drinking alcohol in a month prior to the survey.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder. It is a well-known fact that too much alcohol is dangerous and heavy drinking can increase the chance of certain cancers and can damage liver, brain and other organs. Doctors advise expectant mothers to refrain from drinking during pregnancy as it can cause birth defects in the unborn baby. Alcohol also ups the chance of death from car crashes, injuries, homicide, and suicide.

Path to recovery

Alcohol is one of the most common addictive substances in America. New policies need to be formulated that will deter people from drinking arbitrarily in the name of better health and longevity. New guidelines should also be brought about, elucidating the devastations of alcohol on physical and mental health.

If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol and is searching for a way out, contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help for more information about various alcohol addiction treatment centers in your vicinity. You may contact us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online for further expert advice.