A prescription for good health – a glass of wine?

425094_499416066750538_1823421585_nGood news! A new study from the British Medical Journal has found that moderate alcohol consumption has a ‘protective effect’ on your heart, suggesting that those who drink in sensible amounts are actually healthier than those who abstain altogether.

The study observed that moderate drinking can stave off major problems such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease – in other words most all of the common things that can go wrong with your heart.

This finding supports what we have been blogging about for years: the fact that moderate drinking is good for you. As we’ve reported previously, analyses of other studies have shown that the overall effect of drinking is to improve health outcomes, with moderate drinkers on average better off than those who either do not drink or drink excessively.

It is also further evidence that the Government’s lowering of the recommended weekly alcohol units last year, when they reduced the amount from 21 units to 14 units for men, was not based on sound evidence.

The British Medical Journal paper recommends that ‘a more nuanced approach to the role of alcohol in prevention of cardiovascular disease is necessary’. Could we perhaps see doctors actually prescribing wine in future? Perhaps not, but in the meantime this study does mean that we should not feel guilty about enjoying a glass of wine when the mood takes us, and learn to respect our own judgement when it comes to how much we drink. Much like scientific studies, this is sometimes a case of trial and error! 

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