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Can a Cocktail Once a Day Keep the Doctor away?


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1/21/2015
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There is new research showing the vast benefits of having a cocktail every day. One of these important benefits is the healthy advantage it gives to your heart. 

Fox news reports on the new study.

The data shows that drinking responsibly can aid in making your heart health stronger. The research also shows that moderate drinking can safeguard you against some serious conditions.

The new study shows that one drink a day can help protect a person against heart failure later in their lives. The study was published in European Heart Journal. It involved almost 15,000 adult men and women. The study found that drinking up to seven alcoholic beverages per week could decrease the risk for heart failure by 20 percent for men and 16 percent for women.

How was the study conducted?

The participants were all between the ages of 45 and 64 years old. The researchers divided them into six categories: people who drank up to seven alcoholic beverages a week; those who had between 7 and 14 a week; between 14 and 21 drinks per week; more than 21; as well as former drinkers and abstainers. One single drink was defined as fourteen grams of alcohol, which is equivalent to approximately half a pint of beer, a small glass of wine or a single shot of hard liquor, this includes things like whiskey.

The experts actually followed the participants from the late 1980s until the end of 2011. At this point 1,271 men and 1,237 women had already experienced heart failure. The experts found the least rate of heart failure was among those who consumed seven drinks per week. The researchers also discovered that the protective benefits of alcohol were slightly stronger for men than women.

Why do the results differ based on sex?

There are numerous different ways by which the effects of alcohol on the heart may differ by sex according to the researchers. Experts find that women have a higher proportion of body fat and absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men. Females tend to absorb higher blood alcohol concentrations for a given amount of alcohol consumed.

When it comes to liquor is the more you have the better?

Researchers say no.

Experts found that heavier alcohol consumption, meaning around 14 or more drinks per week, did not give any kind of advantageous health benefit, regardless of a person’s gender. When the study looked at information on all causes of death, the heaviest drinkers had the greatest increased risk for mortality from any cause. The researchers said that the data showed 47 percent for men and 89 percent for women who consumed 21 or more drinks per week.

Dr. Scott Solomon, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of noninvasive cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led the study.

He said, “These findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective. The highest rate of heart failure was among former drinkers. This could be related to the reasons why they had stopped drinking in the first place, for instance because they had already developed health problems that might have made them more likely to go on to develop heart failure.”



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