Drinking alcohol every day cuts the risk of heart disease in men by more than a third, a major study suggests. * * *Of course, the Brits are appalled at the reckless Spaniards:
The study was conducted in Spain, a country with relatively high rates of alcohol consumption and low rates of coronary heart disease. * * *
For those drinking little - less than a shot of vodka a day for instance - the risk was reduced by 35%. And for those who drank anything from three shots to more than 11 shots each day, the risk worked out an average of 50% less.
The same benefits were not seen in women, who suffer fewer heart problems than men to start with. Researchers speculated this difference could be down to the fact that women process alcohol differently, and that female hormones protect against the disease in younger age groups.
The type of alcohol drunk did not seem to make a difference, but protection was greater for those drinking moderate to high amounts of varied drinks.
The exact mechanisms are as yet unclear, but it is known that alcohol helps to raise high-density lipoproteins, sometimes known as good cholesterol, which helps stop so-called bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries.
UK experts said the findings should be treated with caution because they do not take into account ill-health from a range of other diseases caused by excess drinking.Even the Brits concede that moderate drinking is probably good for you, nonetheless. TBA has one drink most days, zero drinks some days, 2 or 3 on one day a week at most.
"Whilst [Whilst! I love it! -TBA] moderate alcohol intake can lower the risk of having a heart attack, coronary heart disease is just one type of heart disease. Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, is associated with high alcohol intake and can lead to a poor quality of life and premature death," said the British Heart Foundation's senior cardiac nurse, Cathy Ross.
"The heart is just one of many organs in the body. While alcohol could offer limited protection to one organ, abuse of it can damage the heart and other organs such as the liver, pancreas and brain."
The Stroke Association meanwhile noted that overall, evidence indicated that people who regularly consumed a large amount of alcohol had a three-fold increased risk of stroke.