To analyze the benefits of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease researchers studied nearly 2,500 seniors ages 70 to 79 who consumed moderate levels of alcohol (one to seven drinks per week), consumed high levels of alcohol (more than eight drinks per week), and did not consume any alcohol.
Researchers say, their study is the first to focus on the association between alcohol intake and inflammatory markers such interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CPR), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1).
Results showed moderate drinkers had the lowest levels of IL-6 and CPR in comparison to non-drinkers. However, those who consumed high levels of alcohol had higher levels of IL-6 and CPR in comparison to non-drinkers and moderate drinkers. Specialists say, IL-6 and CPR are strong predictors of heart attacks and other poor health outcomes in middle-aged and older adults.The American Heart Association cautions individuals who do not currently consume alcohol to avoid starting to drink alcohol.
In conclusion researchers say their results suggest there may be a biological explanation for the link between alcohol consumption and heart disease.