Source: The Mercury, June 12, 1996, p.5
PEOPLE who drink beer in moderation live longer and are less likely to have heart problems, according to a review of research on the links between alcohol and health. There is a widespread view that moderate consumption of wine, not of beer, is good for the heart. But the authors of the review say they found strong evidence that con- sumption of any alcoholic beverage was linked to a lower risk of heart disease. The Australian Brewers' Foundation medical research advisory committee has reviewed about 30 published research papers from around the world on the link between alcohol and heart disease. "Beer can be regarded as the drink of moderation be cause it has half the alcohol content of wine," the chairman of the Brewers' Foundation medical research advisory committee, Professor Ross Kalucy, said. "There is now an overwhelming consensus of medical opinion that moderate alcohol intake is protective against heart disease in both men and women." Consumption of no more than four glasses of beer a day for men, and two for women, is considered moderate. Professor Kalucy, professor of psychiatry at Flinders University, said it had been shown that moderate drinkers lived longer than people who did not drink at all. Alcohol is known to boost a substance in the blood, known as higher density lipoprotein which protects blood vessels against clotting and the buildup of plaque on artery walls due to cholesterol. It was for this reason moderate consumption of alcohol was good for cardiac health, he said. Brewers' Foundation chairman Professor Kwong Lee Dow said in a statement that this did not mean, however that abstainers should be encouraged to take up drinking. "Health authorities and educators need to acknowledge the role of alcohol in our society and develop policies that minimise the potential physical, social and emotional harms that result from its use," he said. AAP
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