*A recent large-scale study conducted by the University of Cambridge in England suggests that having a drink of wine every day could help protect your heart from disease. Considering millennials consumed nearly 36% of all wine purchased in the last year, the results of this study should be happy news for an entire generation of wine drinkers.
The findings were published in the March issue of the British Medical Journal and detailed how researchers studied the link between alcohol consumption and 12 distinct cardiovascular issues, sometimes referred to by the umbrella term heart disease.
Researchers tracked the habits of approximately 1.9 million healthy British adults and discovered that a diminished risk of issues like heart disease, heart attacks, sudden heart death, and even stroke comes with the occasional glass of wine or beer.
The study defined “moderate” drinking as seven pints of normal beer or 1.5 bottles of wine in a single week. But researchers also warned that going above this level actually increased the risk of heart issues. In fact, those individuals who drank heavily were at a higher risk for all of the heart issues previously listed.
Regardless, lead researcher and genetic epidemiologist Steven Bell argues that non-drinkers shouldn’t feel pressured to pick up a pint if they don’t want to.
“There are safer and more effective ways of reducing cardiovascular risk, such as increasing levels of physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet and quitting smoking, which do not incur increased risks of harm such as alcohol dependence,” he said.
The results of this new study are consistent with those performed in the past, but the sheer scale of the project has magnified its impact. Dr. Allan Stewart, director of aortic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, agrees.
“With this degree of power in the study, it’s pretty good evidence you are benefitting your health by having a few drinks a week,” he said.
Even though the study was conducted in Britain, its ripples can certainly be felt in America. Adults in the U.S. already value their health. In fact, approximately two-thirds of American adults take at least one multivitamin supplement. And many people already have the occasional glass of wine or beer to begin with.
But in addition to drinking in moderation, the study also found that the type of alcohol a person drinks makes a difference. Researchers studied the effects of red wine and vodka on pigs and discovered that red wine possessed more health benefits than the hard liquor.
So while a drink a day might actually keep the doctor away, researchers continue to stress that moderation and alcohol type really do matter.