Moderate alcohol consumption 'could improve heart health'

25 November 2011

Moderate consumption of alcohol can be good for the heart, according to one expert.

A spokesperson from HEART UK, the cholesterol charity, suggested that drinking one to three units of alcohol per day could help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Linda Main, registered dietician and nutritionist at the organisation, said: "Alcohol increases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood, a form of good cholesterol."

"The beneficial effect is small, and insufficient to merit alcohol consumption in those that currently abstain."

She added people must remember that heavy alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of heart disease and that the type of alcoholic beverage is irrelevant whereas the quantity is the most important thing to consider.

A study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a moderate intake of beer could cut the drinker's risk of heart disease by 31 per cent.

Ms Main commented that there could also be some evidence to suggest that beverages rich in polyphenols, such as red grapes and juices, could benefit heart health.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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