Researchers from the University of Calgary have recently published a paper in the British Medical Journal which supports previous advice that drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation may be good for heart health.
After reviewing earlier studies, the team of scientists concluded that having one drink per day may lead to a 14 percent to 25 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, since moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to increase levels of healthy HDL cholesterol in the blood.
However, authors of the study want to remind the public that the findings do not suggest that heavy drinking is healthy in any way.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that an estimated 37,500 people die each year from alcohol-related causes, excluding accidents and homicides.
Study authors said that there was no indication that one type of alcohol — whether beer, wine or liquor — had additional benefits over the others.
They also noted that there is a need for public health campaigns which specifically communicate that the health benefits of alcohol are completely outweighed when drinking becomes excessive. The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming more than five drinks in a two-hour period for men, and four drinks in the same time for women.