Drinking Alcohol May be Good for a Healthy Heart

First Posted: Feb 18, 2016 12:34 PM EST

Do you drink? It may be good for your heart. Scientists have found that light to moderate drinking may cause people to be less prone to heart failure and heart attacks than those who rarely or never drink.

"It's primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things," said Imre Janszky, one of the researchers, in a news release. "But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure. So it's best to drink moderate amounts relatively often."

The researchers conducted two studies regarding the relationship between alcohol and heart health. One was about heart failure, while the other was on acute myocardial infarction. In both cases, the researchers found that people who regularly drink alcohol have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol.

The researchers found that those who drank three to five drinks per week were 33 percent less prone to heart failure than those who abstained or drank infrequently. In the case of heart attacks, the risk appeared to be reduced by 28 percent with each additional one-drink increment.

"I'm not encouraging people to drink alcohol all the time," said Janszky. "We've only been studying the heart, and it's important to emphasize that a little alcohol every day can be healthy for the heart. But that doesn't mean it's necessary to drink alcohol every day to have a healthy heart."

The findings reveal that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol isn't all that bad. This is particularly important to note when considering alcohol consumption. With that said, it's also possible to over-indulge, which can cause health issues.

The findings are published in the International Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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