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Alcohol vs. Lifestyle - How Alcohol Promotes Good Heart Health

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How Alcohol Promotes Good Heart Health

The moderate consumption of alcohol promotes good heart health in a number of ways, including the following:

• Alcohol improves blood lipid profile73 o It increases HDL ("good") cholesterol74 o It decreases LDL ("bad") cholesterol75 o It improves cholesterol (both HDL and LDL) particle o Alcohol decreases thrombosis (blood clotting) • It reduces platelet aggregation77 • It reduces fibrinogen (a blood clotter)78 • It increases fibrinolysis (the process by which clots dissolve)79 • Alcohol acts in additional ways80

• I

o It increases coronary blood flow81 o It reduces blood pressure82 o It reduces blood insulin level83 o It increases estrogen levels84

Stroke

• A systematic review and meta-analysis of 26 research studies (cohort or case-control) found that consuming two drinks per day is associated with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke.85

• The American Stroke Association states that "Studies now show that drinking up to two alcoholic drinks per day can reduce your risk for stroke by about half."86

• A study of over 22,000 men found that light and moderate alcohol consumption significantly reduces the overall risk of stroke.87

• A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming one or two drinks a day can reduce the risk of stroke by about half. It also found the protective effects of alcohol to occur among white, African- American, and Hispanic populations and among both men and women. The investigators concluded that their findings support the National Stroke Association Stroke Prevention Guidelines regarding the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption.88

• Research has found that HDL ("good" cholesterol) is protective against stroke and that drinking alcohol in moderation is one of the ways that HDL can be increased.89

• A study published in the American Heart Association's journal found abstainers' risk of stroke to be double that of moderate drinkers.90

• The American Heart Association also reports that moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with dramatically decreased risk of stroke among both men and women, regardless of age or ethnicity.91

• it reduces coronary artery spasm in response to stress


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