A drink a day could keep the doctor away

23 February, 2011

Moderate drinking can help prevent heart disease, according to a new report in the British Medical Journal. The report, which is a review of research published over 30 years, said individuals who drink alcohol in moderation are less likely to develop heart disease compared to non-drinkers.

But experts have warned against excess, saying moderation means “different things to different people”.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware, said: “This isn't the first piece of research to suggest alcohol has a protective effect against heart disease, but to say that moderate drinking is good for health could be misleading for consumers as the term 'moderate' can mean different things to different people. The report suggests an intake of 15g of alcohol a day for a woman, equivalent to 1.88 units - a double gin and tonic, and 30g of alcohol a day for men, equivalent to 3.75 units - just over a pint and a half of 4% beer.

"To help consumers avoid the risks associated with drinking to excess, we need to help them know how many units are in their favourite drinks. Drinkaware advises people not to regularly drink more than the daily unit guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and 2-3 units of alcohol for women (equivalent to a 175ml glass of wine).”

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