In general, moderate alcohol drinkers enjoy heart-health benefits, presenting a case that it’s not the resveratrol or flavonoids at all, but any alcohol, even tequila. “Many chemicals, including ethanol itself, can have healthy effects on our bodies,” says Kathy Arnink, viticulturist and enologist (she specializes in the science, production and study of grapes and winemaking) at Cornell University. “The long-term challenge for researchers is to determine how all of these chemicals, together, improve human health.”
A recent study shows that moderate drinking (one alcoholic beverage per day in midlife) boosted the chance of “successful aging” at age 70 — free of cancer, heart disease or significant cognitive decline. The study also found that women who had one to two drinks a day had an even greater chance of good health, nearly 30 percent more than their non-drinking counterparts.
“The most important factor is the pattern of drinking: small amounts — a drink or two — on most days of the week without binge drinking,” says Dr. Ellison.
So what’s just one drink? A glass of wine is five ounces, equal to the alcohol content of a 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 1.5-ounce shot glass of 80-proof distilled spirits (think hard liquor).
Downing four of these within two hours, which is considered binge drinking, could have the opposite health effects, putting you at a greater risk for heart disease due to increased blood pressure and triglycerides, which contribute to high cholesterol
So what to take? In combination with choosing what you drink wisely, drink moderately with consistency, and enjoy the quilt free benefits!