New Study Debunks Myth of Drinking Alcohol Has Positive Effects on the Heart
Nature World News
By Louise Franco
February 22, 2022
‘Drinking alcohol daily is good for the heart’ or ‘A glass of wine keeps the doctor away.’ These popular saying has been instilled over the years ranging from personal public encounters to various studies, and even from health authorities.
However, a new study debunks the myth surrounding alcohol consumption and its benefits to the heart. The study explores potential biases concerning the topic and concluded that even a small amount of alcohol can have health hazards to the heart.
Furthermore, the study concluded that future research about alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease should avoid biases that underestimate the cardiovascular risks associated with alcohol consumption-whether they are moderated or not.
New Study Criticizes Potential Biases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited the recommendation of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, indicating that adult men should take no more than two drinks in a day, while women should take no more than one drink in a day to avoid alcohol-related drinks.
However, a new study reveals that even a small amount of alcohol intake can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the study debunks the popular myth that daily alcohol consumption is good for the heart.
The study was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition on Dec. 13, 2021. The authors of the study investigate potential biases in the form of existing epidemiological evidence. The study highlights that such biases may undermine the risk between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease.
In a separate report, Johns Hopkins Medicine also explored the topic and stated that there are some studies that show a link between lower risk of fatal heart disease and moderate alcohol intake. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine clarified it is not always the case.
Study Methodology and Data
Researchers sampled more than 350,000 people registered in the UK Biobank database. The data collected spans from 22 centers across the UK. The study’s participants include 333,259 alcohol drinkers, while 21,710 are non-alcoholic drinkers, as per Forbes.
The researchers avoided comparison between drinkers and non-drinkers to determine on whether there is a difference or not with their health. The said comparison has been reportedly used in other studies widely.
Through analysis, they were able to determine that using the said comparative approach can lead to misleading results. For instance, non-drinkers may tend to avoid alcohol due to certain medical conditions. Thus, it would look like alcohol drinkers are healthier than their counterparts.
Variances Between Alcohol and Wine
Instead, the researchers of the new study only focused on the available data from the UK Biobank database. Deviating from the comparative approach between alcohol and non-alcohol drinkers, they regrouped participants based on the alcohol amount that they drank.
In conclusion, the researchers found in the database that there are more deaths from people who drank a higher amount of alcohol, including beers and ciders. Nevertheless, the study still showed that regulated and moderate drinking is still important.
On the other hand, the researchers discovered that drinking wine is slightly associated with a lower chance of coronary artery disease.