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Moderate alcohol consumption can help the heart

Moderate alcohol consumption can help the heart
28th November 2011

Older adults keen to look after their hearts should incorporate moderate alcohol consumption into their lifestyle, according to medical experts.

Drinking one to three units of alcohol a day can help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, studies have consistently proven.

Linda Main, registered dietician and nutritionist at Heart UK, stated: "Alcohol increases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood, a form of good cholesterol.

"The beneficial effect is small, and insufficient to merit alcohol consumption in those that currently abstain."

A study at the University of Calgary revealed that individuals are 14 to 25 per cent less likely to develop heart disease if they consume one alcoholic drink a day, compared to those who drink no alcohol at all.

Ms Main is keen to stress, however, that heavy alcohol consumption can have the opposite effect and increase the risk of coronary disease.

The importance of a balance between the public health message that consuming large amounts of alcohol is bad and drinking in moderation can be healthy needs to recognised.

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