New Delhi: It has long been said that drinking a glass of wine keeps doctors away, but now experts say that even a non-alcoholic version can give you real benefits. Researchers at Angela Ruskin University analyzed data from 4.5 million people aged 40 to 69 and looked at the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on their health.
They found that people who drank 11 glasses of wine a week had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. The same risk was found to be lower in those who regularly use the non-alcoholic version. The results suggest that these benefits are due to the grapes in the wine.
Alcohol free alcohol is good for heart health
According to the Daily Mail, the benefits of wine come from the antioxidants present in the grapes, not the alcohol. Grapes are high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which may improve the function of the inner lining of the heart and increase good cholesterol levels.
On the other hand, drinking a moderate amount of beer, cider or spirits is associated with a nearly 10 percent higher risk. “I believe the results dispel the notion that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of heart disease,” said university doctor Rudolf.
Participants themselves reported how much beer, cider, wine, champagne and spirits they consumed per week. Researchers monitored their health for seven years, including overall mortality, heart problems, cancer and stroke. “People who drink four to five glasses of champagne or white wine or eight to 11 glasses of red wine have a lower risk of ischemic heart disease,” he said.
The same results apply to non-alcoholic beverages. Rudolph said the research showed a “controversial safety benefit link” between red wine and white wine and heart disease. They reported that this association was also observed for non-alcoholic wines, suggesting that the polyphenols in wine have an advantage over alcohol.
Drinking alcohol even at low levels is harmful
Polyphenols have been found to be beneficial for health in many studies. Research shows that people who drank less beer, cider, and spirits had higher rates of heart and brain disease, cancer, and death. The researchers noted that their findings “do not support the notion that alcohol is good for health” in any type of beverage.
The current recommendation in the UK is to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Dr Rudolph said that drinking alcohol even in small amounts can be injurious to health. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Older research suggests that drinking alcohol three to seven days a week reduces the risk of a heart attack. “But they do not make false comparisons with the drinkers or the type of alcohol used,” he said.