Reports about drinking alcohol seem to be a bit confusing at times. Alcoholics are prone to many significant diseases including heart disease . However, over the past decade, new studies have shown that light to moderate consumption of alcohol (particularly red wine) may improve heart disease risk. But how much is too much? At what point does a wine drinker cross the point of “better” for your heart vs. “worse” for your heart?
One study recently showed that nurses who drank one glass of wine a night had less heart attacks than those who drank none OR those who drank 2 or more glasses per night. Now the studies have taken a bit of a new direction in viewing alcohol consumption and heart disease. It appears that binge drinking is worse for your heart than having one glass of wine every day. This latest study compared men in their 50′s throughout specific portions of Ireland and France. Apparently in Ireland some men tend to drink heavily on the weekend and not much during the week. The men in France tended to drink every single day. Overall, the men in France had a lower rate of heart attacks and heart related deaths.
It certainly is a difficult problem to address in the general population. Many people consider themselves to be a “social drinker” which means they only drink alcohol at special occasions. If more studies show the ill effects of binge drinking, the term “social drinker” could be considered a risk factor for heart disease in the future!