While many types of research have warned of its adverse health effects, a recent study says if consumed lightly or in moderation, alcohol could actually lead to a longer life.
According to the study, men who have one or two drinks a day, and women who have one drink a day have a 29 percent decreased risk of heart-related death and a 22 percent reduced risk of death from any cause, compared with teetotalers.
The researchers said prior studies have shown that alcohol can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood, adding that it appears to reduce the formation of plaques in blood vessels that can block arteries and cause strokes.
The research involved data reviewed from over 333,200 people who participated in the federally-funded US national health interview surveys from 1997 to 2009.
The researchers, however, found that heavy drinkers are 27 percent more likely to die from cancer, and 11 percent more likely to die early.
Sreenivas Veeranki, the study co-author, said “the relationship between alcohol and death risk is a “J-shaped curve, in which too much drinking can be detrimental to health.
“If you’re an alcohol consumer, drink with caution.
“If you’re an alcoholic, consume lower amounts on a less-frequent amount of days. If you’re not an alcoholic, don’t start, obviously.”
The new study was published on August 14 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.