Heart health may no longer be an excuse to consume alcohol

By Allison Rubenstein,

We’ve all heard that a glass of red wine with dinner is good for the heart. But while past research has supported this notion, a new study has concluded the contrary.

The British Medical Journal recently published a study that looked at the association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that “individuals with a genetic variant associated with non-drinking and lower alcohol consumption had a more favorable cardiovascular profile and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease than those without the genetic variant.” In other words, those who were predisposed to drink less had healthier hearts.

The study concluded that regardless of how much alcohol you drink, reducing that level of intake is best for you. But, doctors and other experts are skeptical of these findings. They argue that just because those who had the low-alcohol gene had healthier hearts does not mean, necessarily, that the gene is the cause of this lower heart disease risk.

“People with genes for alcohol intolerance may have other unmeasured behaviors or traits that reduce heart disease,” Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, told Britain’s Science Media Center.

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