Despite previous reports, a recently released study finds a glass of red wine a day might not defend against heart disease.“It’s complicated,” said Dr. Juergen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada, in a statement. “While a cardioprotective association between alcohol use and ischaemic heart disease exists, it cannot be assumed for all drinkers, even at low levels of intake,” says Dr. Rehm.
Ischaemic heart disease is a disease caused by a reduction of blood supply in the heart muscle, and is a common cause of fatality and illness in the Western part of the world. Symptoms include heart pain, angina, and heart failure.
Researchers pulled data from 44 studies and used analysis from 38,627 ischaemic heart disease events (including deaths) among 957,684 people.
“We see substantial variation across studies, in particular for an average consumption of one two drinks a day,” said Rehm. He also states that the positive health affects may vary according to gender, specific health effects, and drinking patterns.
Rehm also suggests that heart patients shouldn’t only think of the seemingly positive effects of red wine, they should also consider the other potential ailments of constant wine consumption.
“Even one drink a day increases risk of breast cancer, for example, he said. “However, with as little as one drink a day, the net effect on mortality is still beneficial. After this, the net risk increases with every drink. If someone binge drinks even once a month, any health benefits from light to moderate drinking disappear.”
Dr. Rehm also believes that the present moment may be a bit premature to market red wine as a solidified heart medicine.
“More evidence on the overall benefit-risk ratio of average alcohol consumption in relation to ischaemic heart disease and other diseases is needed in order to inform the general public or physicians about safe or low-risk drinking levels,” he concluded.