(HealthCastle.com) Researchers from the University of Florida followed about 2,500 participants aged 70 to 79 years for an average of five and a half years. Their alcohol consumption, heart disease incidences as well as death rates were analyzed. Results showed that those who drank one to seven glasses of alcohol per week were 29 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who never drank alcohol or only drank alcohol occasionally. In addition, they were also 27 percent less likely to die from heart disease. The results of this study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in July 2006.
Editor's Note - Light drinking benefits men, but not women
Surprisingly, for women drinking offers no health benefit, according to the study. In addition, the study showed benefits of light drinking only, which is defined as no more than one drink of alcohol a day. Researchers found that heavy alcohol drinkers were actually more likely to die or experience a heart attack. Hence, this study should not be interpreted as an incentive for increasing alcohol consumption in order to achieve a healthy heart. Previous studies have shown that alcohol drinking may increase triglycerides and result in weight gain because of alcohol's empty calories. Other studies also suggested that alcohol consumption may increase cancer risk. Therefore, the American Heart Association cautions people NOT to start drinking if they do not already drink alcohol.
The Bottom Line
The current recommendation of alcohol consumption is one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
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