The study, which followed 446,439 participants over seven years, found a decreased risk of coronary heart disease in those who drank wine regularly. While those who drank beer, cider and spirits at low levels were at an increased risk of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease and overall mortality.
So how are we only working this out now?
The team behind the research showed that the benefits of wine are commonly disguised because it’s grouped with all other alcoholic drinks in many studies. When you take wine out of the list of alcoholic beverages, researchers found that beer and spirits, when consumed within the guidelines — that’s no more than 14 units of alcohol a week in the UK where the study originated and no more than 10 standard drinks a week for Australians — increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 per cent. Wine drinkers? They lowered their risk of coronary heart disease by around five to 10 per cent when consumed within the health guidelines.
“There is an undeniable protective beneficial relationship between coronary heart disease and consumption of both red and white wine,” says Dr Rudolph Schutte from Anglia Ruskin University.
“However, this is only seen with coronary heart disease and none of the other cardiovascular diseases.”
“This relationship is also seen for alcohol-free wine, so it suggests the benefits are thanks to the polyphenols in the wine rather than the alcohol.”
While this study (presented at the British Science Festival and to be published in the Clinical Nutrition journal) sounds promising for wine lovers, Dr Schutte admits that wine can raise blood pressure and can be harmful to our health in other ways.
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