Doctors are advising people to limit themselves to a couple of pegs when it comes to alcohol consumption, as the New Year approaches. A peg or two are capable of scaling down the risks of a brain stroke, while excess consumption has the opposite effect, according to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital's senior consultant Harsh Rastogi.
"Drinking alcohol is related to the incidence of stroke. In general, the more alcohol one consumes, the greater the risk of developing a stroke," Rastogi said, adding that "excess alcohol contributes to hypertension that can lead to a stroke."
It has been found that moderate intake of alcohol (two or less drinks a day) has a protective effect where coronary heart diseases are concerned.
"Moderate drinking increases the good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) which protects not only against coronary heart diseases but also against brain strokes (especially ischemic stroke)," said Rastogi.
An ischemic stroke is the sudden death of brain cells that occurs when the flow of blood to a part of the brain is blocked and oxygen cannot be delivered to that part.
According to a study published by the Tulane University in the US, moderate drinking lowers the risk of an ischemic stroke by about 30%, but heavy drinking increases the risk of ischemic stroke by 69%.