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New studies: alcohol doesn't protect the heart
Although moderate alcohol consumption has long been considered a protection against cardiovascular diseases in our culture, according to scientists, there is no proven health benefit from wine and the like. New studies show that even moderate alcohol consumption does not appear to have a protective function for the heart and blood vessels.
Is moderate alcohol consumption healthy?
An old saying goes: "Nobody can refuse a glass of honor". It has long been known that alcohol increases the risk of numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, fatty liver or various types of cancer. However, various studies have concluded that alcohol - in moderation - can serve as protection against cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have been debating whether moderate alcohol consumption is really healthy for years.
Disproves positive effects of alcohol
British researchers published a study in the British Medical Journal last year that refuted the positive effects of alcohol. And the German Society for Cardiology (DGK) has now reported that a number of studies that were presented at the European Cardiology Congress (ESC) in Rome also conclude that low to moderate alcohol consumption does not appear to have a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels Has.
No significantly beneficial association with cardiovascular mortality
According to the experts, a Danish study of almost 19,000 nurses ("The danish nurses' cohort study") over 20 years after the adjustment for health, lifestyle and psychosocial factors did not provide any evidence of a significant favorable relationship between low or moderate alcohol consumption and cardiovascular mortality.
The study authors also found no significant connection between low to medium alcohol consumption with the separate endpoints stroke and heart attack.
Total plaque volume has not changed
A study from Israel and the United States investigated the impact of moderate alcohol consumption on the progression of atherosclerosis of the carotid artery in patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes who otherwise did not consume alcohol.
During the two-year study period of the so-called CASCADE study, the test subjects were divided into three groups and received either 150 milliliters of mineral water, white wine or red wine every day.
According to the information, all study participants followed a Mediterranean diet without restricting the number of calories. At the start of the study and after two years, the total plaque volume of the carotid artery and the vascular wall volume of 174 patients were measured using 3D ultrasound.
During the initial examination, plaque was found in the carotid artery in 55 percent of the participants. However, the average total plaque volume did not change in any of the three groups during the two years.
Further investigations should follow
"In our two-year study, we could not find any significant effect of wine consumption on the total plaque volume of the carotid artery or the vascular wall volume in the whole group," summarized the study authors.
"The weak indication of the somewhat greater reduction in the total plaque volume of the carotid artery due to wine consumption in the patients who had the largest plaque volume at the start of the study should be investigated further in larger studies."
You don't need alcohol for heart health
"There are always reports of the positive impact of moderate consumption of different alcoholic beverages, especially wine, on cardiovascular health. Other studies, however, could not confirm this beneficial effect.
However, a possible harmful effect of moderate wine drinking on heart health could not be substantiated and beyond any doubt. The mechanisms of possible heart protection that have been widely claimed are also unclear, ”said DGK press spokesman Prof. Dr. Eckart stain.
“So if you want to do something for your heart health, you don't need to drink alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on many organs in our body, including the heart, for example due to rhythm disorders or poor pumping, and should be avoided in any case. ”(Ad)