In the latest example of why science is the best: Turns out boozing it up is good for our health! That's what a new study says, anyway.
It's true: New research from the American Heart Association found that moderate drinking actually helps to slow the decline of good cholesterol (known as HDL) over time. Ok, that doesn't mean going on a total bender during the holidays (sorry!) but it's still excellent news.
The researchers followed the drinking habits and HDL levels of 80,000 Chinese participants—who had no known health issues—over a period of six years, dividing them into groups depending on whether they never drink, sometimes drink or drink often. In the end, those who drank moderately—defined as a drink a day for women or two a day for men—saw their HDL decline the slowest, with beer drinkers specifically seeing the slowest decline of all. Heavy drinkers and hard-liquor lovers saw less cholesterol benefits. The study didn't specifically look at wine, but we already know wine is basically a superfood, right?
“The results of this new study are not surprising and support numerous past studies that demonstrate improved cardiovascular outcomes in moderate drinkers,” Dr. Jennifer Stagg, an expert in integrative medicine and author of Unzip Your Genes: 5 Choices to Reveal a Radically Radiant You, tells The Feast. "As we age, HDL levels tend to decline when we would prefer to see those levels higher.”
Stagg adds, "In this recent study, the good cholesterol (HDL) levels declined less in the group of moderate drinkers compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.” Of course the word "moderate" is key here: “Women should have one drink a day and no more, and men can get away with two drinks a day, no more—again consistent with alcohol levels we have seen in the past,” notes Stagg, who says she would also see red wine as an ideal choice because it has also been shown to specifically lower another cardiac risk factor called lipoprotein (a).
So, drink up! It's good for you.
But then stop drinking. Until the next day!
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