Medical science has long known that moderate drinking benefits the heart. Research is now focusing on exactly how alcohol reduces the incidence of heart disease.
One way alcohol promotes good heart health is by reducing the inflammation of coronary arteries, according to research reported in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation.
Examining over 3,000 men and women who were part of a research project known as the Heart, Aging, and Body Composition study, the investigators found evidence that drinking can reduce the level of potentially harmful proteins in the bloodstream.
There is already strong evidence that “inflammatory markers,” including proteins known as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), are excellent predictors of heart attacks and death. They appear to be even better predictors than high cholesterol levels.
The researchers found that, in both men and women, those who never drank alcohol were at a greater risk of having high levels of CRP and IL-6 than were those who consumed alcoholic beverages in moderation. Those who never drank had a 42% greater risk of being in the top third of the CRP and Il-6 distribution.
Filed Under: Heart