The Lancet has published a new study which challenges the idea that moderate drinking can actually do good to the heart. The study asserts that the harm inflicted by alcohol is greater than any of its benefits. Conventional medical wisdom states that a couple of glasses of wine everyday, or a pint of beer is beneficial to the human heart.
According to The Independent, health experts from New Zealand cite a large US study published earlier this year of 200,000 adults which found drinkers were healthier than non-drinkers, independently of their drinking.
Of 30 risk factors for heart disease, 27 were significantly more common in the non-drinkers. The researchers claim that the lower incidence of heart attacks in the drinkers is likely to be due to this difference in risk and have nothing to do with their alcohol consumption.
They say the evidence is more compelling for a protective effect on the heart from heavy drinking. But this is outweighed by the other damaging effects. In the case of light to moderate drinking, any protective effect on the heart will be very small and unlikely to outweigh the harms.