Posted on Mar 15, 2011, 6 a.m.
Consuming one or two drinks a day (equating to 12.5 to 25 grams of alcohol) associates with a reduced risk of heart disease.
In that a number of previous studies have suggested that modest alcohol consumption confers protective health benefits, Canadian researchers reaffirm the beneficial impact on reduce the risks of heart disease. William A Ghali, from the University of Calgary (Canada), and colleagues reviewed 84 published studies that assessed association between alcohol consumption and overall mortality from cardiovascular disease, incidence of and mortality from coronary heart disease, and incidence of and mortality from stroke. Across these studies, the team found that alcohol consumption was associated with a 25% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality (21 studies) and a 29% reduced risk of incident coronary heart disease (29 studies). Further data analysis revealed that the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with between one and two drinks a day, defined as between 12.5 and 25 grams of alcohol. The researchers conclude that: “Favourable changes in several cardiovascular biomarkers (higher levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol and adiponectin and lower levels of fibrinogen) provide indirect pathophysiological support for a protective effect of moderate alcohol use on coronary heart disease. “
Susan E Brien, Paul E Ronksley, Barbara J Turner, Kenneth J Mukamal, William A Ghali. “Effect of alcohol consumption on biological markers associated with risk of coronary heart disease: systematic review and meta-analysis of interventional studies.” BMJ, 22 February 2011.