It is well known that heavy alcohol drinking is harmful for health. Excessive alcohol intake and binge drinking are also associated with increased CVD risks6.
In contrast, accumulating scientific evidence from epidemiological studies indicates that light to moderate drinking may reduce CVD risk, especially CHD and all-cause mortality7,8. It is hypothesized that the cardiovascular protective effect of alcohol is attributable to several mechanisms, including reducing platelet aggregation (alcohol is a natural anticoagulant) and lowering BP, and increasing levels of HDL-cholesterol7, 8.
Non-drinkers should not be encouraged to start drinking.
There are no health-related reasons for non-drinkers to start drinking.
For instance, moderate wine consumption (1-2 glasses per day for men and 1 glass per day for women), preferably during the meal, is an optional part of the Mediterranean dietary pattern7.
Nevertheless, a recent Mendelian randomization study based on analyses from 59 epidemiological studies has questioned any beneficial effect of moderate alcohol consumption, suggesting that the lowest CVD risk was seen in non-drinkers and that any amount of alcohol is associated with elevated blood pressure and body mass index9
ADVICE: The key word in alcohol consumption is moderation! Moderate alcohol consumption [up to 20 g/day (2 drinks) for men and 10 g/day (1 drink) for women] is acceptable for those who drink alcoholic beverages, provided that triglyceride levels are not elevated.10.