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.
Especially there seems to be a favorable effect of red wine which may be related the protective effect of non-alcohol compounds such as antioxidants like polyphenols (resveratrol) present in especially red wine1,7.
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.
ADVICE: The key word in alcohol consumption is moderation! No more than 1 drink/day for women (10 g of alcohol) and 1-2 drinks/day for men (10-20 g of alcohol) should be consumed1.