In the last few years, alcohol like red wine has gained a good reputation because of the antioxidants present in it called resveratrol that are believed to make it heart-friendly. But according to a new study, alcohol may not be good for your heart after all. This latest research carried out by Tim Stockwell, director of the Centre for Addictions Research at the University of Victoria in Canada, finds previous studies misleading. The meta-analysis of all existing studies was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
A lot of previous studies have shown that drinking alcohol in moderation (say a glass or two of wine) may be able to prevent the risk of heart disease. This seems to have made people believe that moderation is the key to good health but that may not be the case especially when it comes to alcohol.
Stockwell studies 45 previous cohort studies and found that participants who were ‘non- drinker’ may have been former drinker who have quite or cut down their alcohol consumption for health reasons. In this scenario, these people may enjoy a healthier life in the later years which makes people believe that moderate drinking is alright. But Stockwell argues that it is not the drinking behaviour that influences their health, but rather their health is influencing their drinking behaviour.
When he examined more studies that looked into drinking habits earlier in life – aged 55 and younger – and followed the participants till they reached their older years, it was found that moderate drinking didn’t really have any benefits. But what is moderate drinking? The scientific community agrees that it refers to 1-2 drinks during one drinking episode and no more than 9 drinks in a week for women and 12 drinks per week for men.
Through his study Stockwell points out that it is alright in indulge in occasional drinking and enjoy alcohol in moderation if you are in good health but one should not be drinking because they believe that it may protect them against heart disease and any other ailments. This, according to him, would be ‘wishful thinking’.