With all the news recently about the benefits of red wine it appears that even the . Make sure to keep things in perspective though. You can find a fairly extensive list of calorie information here with major brands of beer, wine by type, alcapops and mixed drinks.

A report from the Harvard School of Public Health provides a good overview of alcohol consumption, effects, negative aspects and potential benefits. Given the issues Americans have with serving size, regardless our inability to measure or contrived by the food and beverage industry,

Loose use of terms has fueled some of the ongoing debate about alcohol’s impact on health. In some studies, the term “moderate drinking” refers to less than one drink per day, while in others it means three or four drinks per day. Exactly what constitutes “a drink” is also fairly fluid. In fact, even among alcohol researchers, there’s no universally accepted standard drink definition.(2) In the U.S., one drink is usually considered to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey).(3) Each delivers about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol.

Following is a summary of research studies relating some cardiovascular beneftis of responsble alcohol consumption.

Participants

Duration

Association with moderate consumption*

Kaiser Permanente cohort: 123,840 men and women aged 30+

10 years

40% reduction in fatal myocardial infarction, 20% reduction in cardiovascular mortality; 80% increase in fatal hemorrhagic stroke (23)

Nurses’ Health Study: 85,709 female nurses aged 34-59

12 years

17% lower risk of all-cause mortality; (24) an earlier report showed a 40% reduction in risk of CHD and 70% reduction in risk of ischemic stroke (25)

Physicians’ Health Study: 22,071 male physicians aged 40-84

11 years

30-35% reduced risk of angina and myocardial infarction, 20-30% reduced risk of cardiovascular death (7, 26 )

American Cancer Society cohort: 489,626 men and women aged 30-104

9 years

30-40% reduced risk of cardiovascular death (27)

Eastern France cohort: 34,014 men and women

10-15 years

25-30% reduced risk of cardiovascular death (28)

Health Professionals Follow-up Study: 38,077 male health professionals aged 40-75

12 years

35% reduced risk of myocardial infarction (20)

* compared with non-drinkers

Just remember to keep everything in moderation. If you do not currently drink alcohol, the studies above still recommend you not take it up as you can generate the same positive benefits by maintaining a healthy well balanced diet and actively participating in an exercise program.

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