A glass of wine a day is NOT good for your heart, experts say
Experts have often told us that a glass of wine a day can be good for our health.
But now the “widespread idea” that moderate drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease has been challenged by the World Heart Federation (WHF).
Wine contains antioxidants, which have health benefits, but the WHF says studies suggesting the drink may be good for us are “observative” — meaning they don’t factor in important factors.
For example, moderate drinkers may look healthier than non-drinkers because the latter have had an alcohol problem.
Monika Arora, of the WHF, said: ‘The perception that alcohol is necessary for a lively social life has diverted attention from the downsides of alcohol consumption, as well as the frequent claims that moderate drinking, such as a glass of red wine a day, can provide protection. against cardiovascular disease.
The ‘widespread idea’ that moderate drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease has been challenged by the World Heart Federation (stock image)
“These claims are misinformed at best and an attempt by the alcohol industry at worst to mislead the public about the danger of their product.”
Matt Lambert, of the Portman Group’s beverage industry trade association, said: “It is important not to exaggerate the risk of moderate drinking and unnecessarily alarm responsible consumers who enjoy alcohol sensibly.”
Earlier this week, Professor Julia Sinclair, chair of the addictions faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, warned that millions of Britons are doing “silent harm” to themselves by drinking too much.
People drink at home, don’t keep track of how much they consume and encourage each other to have more, she said, adding: “You get what I, as a psychiatrist, would call collusion.
‘It’s ‘Should we open another bottle?’
“Yeah, let’s open another bottle.”
Many people consider themselves to enjoy alcohol only moderately and the NHS says those who drink less than 14 drinks a week are ‘low risk’ drinkers.
That’s the equivalent of 10 small glasses of low-strength wine or six pints of medium-strength beer.
However, there is no safe level of drinking, according to the World Heart Federation, which cites the figure of more than 2.4 million people who died worldwide as a result of alcohol in 2019.
There is no safe level of drinking, according to the WHF, which cites the figure of more than 2.4 million people who died worldwide from alcohol in 2019 (stock image)
These alcohol-related deaths accounted for nearly one in 20 deaths worldwide, and 12.5 percent of those among men ages 15 to 49.
The organization, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working with the World Health Organization (WHO), said alcohol is a “psychoactive and harmful substance that can cause significant damage to the human body.”
Health problems associated with drinking include cardiovascular disease, cancer and digestive diseases, in addition to the risk of people injuring themselves while intoxicated.
Some people who enjoy the occasional drink have resisted the “nanny state” warnings, such as those of previous Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, who told the Commons Science and Technology Committee in 2016 that women ‘have to do what I do’ and think about the risks of breast cancer every time they reach for a glass of wine.
Later that year, she admitted that she had chosen her words poorly.
But the WHF says in its briefing: ‘The evidence is clear: Any level of alcohol consumption can lead to loss of healthy life.
Studies have shown that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary disease, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and aneurysms.
“Studies claiming otherwise are based on purely observational research, which does not take into account other factors, such as pre-existing conditions and a history of alcoholism in those considered “abstinence.”
‘To date, no reliable correlation has been found between moderate alcohol consumption and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.’
The organization says bans on alcohol advertising and stricter restrictions on alcohol availability are some of the interventions that can prevent people from drinking too much.