Alcohol in moderation can be good for the heart

An alcoholic drink or two per day may boost heart health by helping to maintain “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels, according to a study of a Chinese population presented at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans. The study is one of about 100 studies showing moderate alcohol drinkers generally have fewer cardiovascular events and succumb less often to heart disease, according to a November 13, 2016 Time Magazine article.

Eric Rimm, professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said studies have shown that one or two alcohol servings daily may reduce one’s risk of a heart event nearly the same as losing about 30 pounds from dieting and physical activity. However, Rimm, who was not involved in the study, said, “I’m hesitant to make that comparison, since weight loss is much more beneficial for other health reasons, such as reducing risk of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.”

Read the Time article: The Truth About What Alcohol Does to Your Heart

Read an AHA statement about the study: Moderate alcohol intake may slow good cholesterol’s decline

Learn more

Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits (Harvard Chan Nutrition Source)

Alcohol (Harvard Chan Nutrition Source)

Alcohol and Heart Disease (Harvard Chan Nutrition Source)