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A Pint A Day — But No More — Keeps The Doctor Away

November 16, 2011 by  

A Pint A Day — But No More — Keeps The Doctor Away

Researchers in Italy have discovered that the heart-health benefits associated with the moderate consumption of wine may also apply to beer.

In previous studies, researchers were able to recognize a relationship between wine and cardiovascular benefits, but beer and other spirits showed no evidence of heart-health benefits. New research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology indicates that beer and wine both have very similar health benefits, but only when consumption is moderate and regular.

The researchers observed a maximum increase in protection against cardiovascular disease when a little more than one traditional English pint of beer containing about 5 percent alcohol was consumed daily. The findings are similar to what was already known about wine: Drinking about two glasses per day for men or one for women reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 31 percent.

“I think we will never stress enough this concept. Wine or beer are part of a lifestyle. One glass can pair with healthy foods, eaten at proper time, maybe together with family or friends. There is no place for binge drinking or any other form of heavy consumption,” said Augusto Di Castelnuovo, head of the Statistic Unit of Research Laboratories at the Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura “Giovanni Paolo II.”

The researchers say that while there is a benefit to moderate, regular consumption of beer and wine, drinking in excess quickly negates it and becomes detrimental to cardiovascular and overall health. They also say that the benefits do not apply to everyone; for example, young women increase their risk for some cancers with alcohol consumption.

Researchers are still unclear as to whether the cardiovascular health benefits of beer and wine are associated with the alcohol in the beverages or with other ingredients.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • dan

    Good news for a change….I’d buy you a pint for a job well done ,Sam .
    I don’t suppose you could work up an article about redheads that would make me feel better about my other vice?

  • rmg

    Beer is proof that God exists, and that he loves us!

  • s c

    Are we talking about an American pint or a British pint? In England, a pint is 20 ounces. If I can get an Obummer bailout, I’ll buy America a round.

  • Ted Sharp

    Now if “a glasss” of wine was an English pint, that would be nice, but require a waiver on the 5% part. Just dreaming. Fill ‘er up!

  • tj

    Well, now . . .

    That last sentence is the most important line of your article. You definitely need to research your topic more carefully. It’s a well established fact that grape juice has the same anti-oxidants as the wine without the detrimental effects of the alcohol, and there are plenty. . . fetal alcohol syndrome, alzheimer’s, cirrhossis of the liver, cancer of many different types, and increased risk of driving accidents . . . to name a few. Here is an article that you might find interesting:

    http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-alcohol-cancer-risk-20110711,0,5156757.story
    Alcohol and cancer: Is any amount of drinking really safe?
    By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
    July 11, 2011, 1:57 p.m.

    How much alcohol is it really safe to drink?

    Possibly less than you’ve been led to believe, say French researchers writing in CMAJ (the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal).

    In a piece published Monday, Paule Latino-Martel, a cancer researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, and co-authors argued that many countries’ alcohol consumption guidelines — which typically define a moderate, “sensible” level of drinking designed to help consumers drink safely — fail to take into account long-term risks associated with drinking.

    The U.K. introduced the concept of “sensible drinking” back in the 1980s. Such limits were intended to prevent hospitalizations due to alcohol abuse, which had been on the rise in the country. In 1984, the British established recommended limits of 18 drinks a week for men and nine drinks for women; in 1987, they raised those limits to 21 drinks for men and 14 for women. U.S. guidelines recommend no more than two drinks per day for men, and no more than one for women.

    (According to the study, the standard drink size in the U.K. is 8 grams, or about 3 ounces; a standard drink in the U.S. is 13.7 grams, or about 5 ounces. Average recommended daily limits for alcohol are therefore slightly higher in Britain than in the U.S.)

    The problem? Such rules may have kept people from getting too drunk, but they failed to take into account the growing body of work linking alcohol use with cancer, according to the authors. In recent years, alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk of mouth, throat, breast, colorectal and possibly liver cancers, in such reports as this one from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research and this one published in the journal the Lancet in 2009.

    For this reason, Latino-Martel and coauthors cautioned health authorities — including the government of Canada, which is expected to release new drinking guidelines later this year — against telling consumers that any amount of drinking is truly safe, at least, when it comes to cancer risk.

    “It can be concluded that there is no level of alcohol consumption for which the cancer risk is null,” they wrote. “Thus, for cancer prevention, the consumption of alcoholic beverages should not be recommended.”

    And no: the reported benefits of drinking for heart health don’t change that, they added. Recent research has pointed out flaws in studies showing a positive link between alcohol use and cardiovascular health, they said. The team also pointed to a World Health Organization committee’s recent conclusion that “there is no merit in promoting alcohol consumption as a preventive strategy” for heart disease.

    • USAF VET

      It even stated in the Bible “a little wine for thy stomachs sake”. My dad used to have a little wine in his tea just about every day, once a day, but I cannot do that. I took it to access and now I don’t even dare take one single drink. In fact I made a promise to my late wife in ’97 to not drink anymore alcoholic beverages. Since March 8th 1997 I have kept that promise and I don’t want to find out what would happen if I did take just one drink.

      • JTB

        God bless you!

  • meteorlady

    WOW now I can have a beer AND a glass of wine a day…. After that I’ll be asleep so don’t bother me huh?

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