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How Heart-Healthy is Alcohol?

How Heart-Healthy is Alcohol?
Dr. Joseph Mercola

Although past research suggests that drinking a glass or two of
wine a day may have some heart benefits, new findings suggest
that those studies were flawed.

Risks Outweigh the Benefits

There is some evidence that heavier drinking provides heart
protection — alcoholics have relatively ‘clean’ arteries — but
the other health risks of heavy drinking outweigh the benefits.

Early observations in the 1970s and 1980s seemed to indicate a
20 to 25 percent reduction in heart disease risk linked to light
drinking. However, the way those studies were carried out did
not allow researchers to say with certainty that the findings
could not be due to factors other than alcohol consumption.

Diet, Exercise, Quit Smoking

The British Heart Foundation responded to the new evidence by
saying that their advice remained the same: “… the best way to
reduce the risk of heart disease is to quit smoking if you
smoke, increase levels of physical activity and eat a healthy
balanced diet.”

BBC News December 2, 2005

Dr. Mercola’s Comment:Good advice from the British Heart
Foundation, so long as your balanced diet is nutritionally sound.

As I’ve said before about studies touting all the “benefits” of
drinking red wine, I personally do not advocate it. There are
many health experts that feel it is fine in moderation, but I am
still not convinced.

This is largely because I am convinced the alcohol itself is
actually a neurotoxin, which means it can poison your brain.
Additionally, it has the strong potential to seriously disrupt
your delicate hormone balance. Plus, drinking two or more
glasses (of wine or any alcoholic beverage for that matter) may
offset the benefit and increase your risk of certain cancers.

You also need to be aware that consuming large amounts of wine
will increase insulin levels and eventually have a negative
impact on your health that way as well.

If you absolutely insist on drinking red wine, check on the
growing conditions of the grapes used and how the wine is made.
And if you can, take a brisk walk to pick it up, as exercise is
your real ticket to preventing heart disease.

About the author:

This article is reprinted from Mercola.com, the world’s #1 most
visited and trusted natural/alternative health website. For a
limited time only, you can take the FREE “Metabolic Type Test”
to help you learn the right foods for your particular body type
so you can achieve optimal fitness & health. Just go to
http://www.mercola.com/forms/mt_test.htm right now to take this
quick test!


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