A Glass Of Wine A Day Really Can Keep The Doctor Away

Scientists at Harvard University, US, have discovered a happy bit of news for those who enjoy a tipple.

People who drink a moderate amount are less likely to end up in hospital or suffer from heart disease than those who drink heavily - or perhaps more surprisingly - those who don't drink at all.

Credit: Unsplash/Kelsey Knight
Credit: Unsplash/Kelsey Knight

The study's research observed the lives of 21,000 Italian men and women and found that those who drank a 'moderate amount' and mixed it with a Mediterranean diet lowered the chance of needing medical treatment over a six-year period compared with those who drank heavily or those who never touched a drop of the hard stuff.

Over the six-year study there were 13,000 hospital admissions in the people being observed with an average age of 56. The teetotallers were 11% per cent more likely to find themselves hospitalised than those who drank one glass of wine a day.

Credit: Unsplash/Scott Warman
Credit: Unsplash/Scott Warman

Disclaimer: we aren't talking about six Jägerbombs with a Domino's chaser. The amount of alcohol that was beneficial was a small (read: 123ml) glass of wine a day. According to the study published in the journal Addiction, those who drank heavily were at most risk of ending up in hospital.

Credit: Unsplash/Kelsey Chance
Credit: Unsplash/Kelsey Chance

Study author Dr Simona Costanzo of the Mediterranean Neurological Institute explained: "We observed that a heavy consumption of alcohol is associated with a higher probability of hospitalisation, especially for cancer and alcohol-related disease. This confirms the harmful effect of excessive alcohol drinking on the health."

She added: "On the other hand, those who drink in moderation present a lower risk of hospitalisation for all causes and for cardiovascular diseases compared to lifetime abstainers and former drinkers."

Credit: Unsplash/Terry Vlisidis
Credit: Unsplash/Terry Vlisidis

And while previous studies have foreshadowed this finding - that polyphenol compounds wine called resveratrol can be good for you and lower your risk of heart disease - it's not the researchers' advice that you should crack open a bottle based on this study: "We are absolutely not saying that any teetotaller should start drinking to improve his/her health."

So hunker down and crack open a bottle on the sofa - but maybe share it with a few friends.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/Kelsey Chance

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