Alcohol consumption is still controversial, since the daily glass of wine is often recommended to take care of cardiovascular health, while excessive consumption is clearly harmful. A new study contributes to dismantling the myth of moderate alcohol consumption, since that daily glass of wine is more damaging to the heart than we think.
A drink a day does not protect the heart
Research recently published at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology evaluated the evidence about the effect of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health of a group of European settlers older than 40 years.
After evaluating more than 740 adults for an average of 5.4 years and registering risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other confounding factors such as gender, age and others, the consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol intake was considered null, low in the case of those who ingested up to three and a half 500ml cans of beer per weekmoderate for those who drank up to seven 500 ml cans of beer per week, or high for those who consumed more than these 14 units of alcohol per week.
Based on alcohol consumption, heart health was analyzed evaluating worsening heart health in those with risk factors such as previous asymptomatic heart failure or risk factors for its development.
The results show that those who were moderate or heavy drinkers were generally younger and more likely to be male, as well as to have a higher body mass index.
No protective effects of low alcohol intake were found.
The moderate to high alcohol intake is associated with a 4.5-fold increased risk of worsening heart health, but the most relevant aspect of this research is that no protective effects of low alcohol intake were found. Therefore, a glass of wine a day is not advisable in any case to benefit health.
This study allows us to elucidate the negative effect on heart health moderate to high alcohol intake even when we consider it safe; as only seven 500 ml cans of beer or two bottles of wine throughout the week (which is considered a moderate consumption) can harm heart health.
Likewise, the research confirms that contradictory messages are often received from the general population or even from health professionals, since there is no beneficial consumption of alcohol, because not even a drink a day translates into positive effects for the body.
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