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Red or white?

It's best to avoid alcohol. If you drink, limit your intake to three drinks each week.
Red or white?

Over the years, scientists have studied and documented the role of alcohol in the development of a number of medical problems such as:

  • Increase in breast cancer risk
  • Increased mortality
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Liver cirrhosis and increased risk of liver failure
  • Obesity (which is associated with several other health issues including cardiovascular problems, metabolic syndrome,and benign prostatic hyperplasia)
  • Reincidence and new lesions in patients with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

In the past couple of decades, however, epidemiologic studies have documented an association between moderate alcohol consumption and lower risk for CHD. Much remains to be learned about this association, the extent to which it is due specifically to alcohol and not to other associated lifestyle factors, and what the biological mechanisms of such an effect might be. Some of the theories suggest that these effects are (at least in part) linked with the blood thinning effect of alcohol, and certain compounds (such as resveratrol) found in red wine (and red grape juice). All in all, the benefits of drinking alcohol are probably overstated and can be obtained with very small amounts of alcohol consumption.

Based on the evidence, it is probably a good idea to limit alcohol intake to moderate levels (three drinks spread out over a given week). If you are going to enjoy a glass of wine do it because you like it, and not because you want to have a healthy heart. For the latter, you are better off eating in moderation (a mediterranean diet is a good idea), reducing your stress levels, and exercising regularly


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