Scientific research often produces controversial results and this causes confusion. Such debatable data are recorded regarding the effect of alcohol consumption on the heart.
A relatively clear orientation is given by a recent review article. According to the author:
Habitual light to moderate consumption of alcohol is beneficial to the heart
- The recommended dosage is 1 drink per day for women and 1-2 drinks per day for men
- The preferred drink is red wine due to its anti-oxidant effect
- The suggested time of drinking is during dinner, since this has recorded the strongest reduction in cardiovascular events
However, caution is required in the following circumstances:
- Males aged 15-59 are the most susceptible in excessive consumption of alcohol, which is strongly interrelated with a negative effect (violent behavior, accidents, arterial hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular events)
- Health care professionals should not recommend alcohol to non-drinkers because of the potential for drinking problem, even among individuals at apparently low risk.
- Unfortunately consumption is strongly correlated with smoking, which should be strongly discouraged.
The findings of this study were based on a systematic literature search (1997-2012).
Alcohol and cardiovascular health: the dose makes the poison…or the remedy.
Mayo Clin Proc.2014 Mar;89:382-393