Even if there are diets that might encourage the consumption of a moderate amount of alcohol, such as the Mediterranean diet, which encourages you to drink a glass of red wine from time to time, a new study reveals that alcohol might have very damaging effects on your body, especially if you are elderly.
A new study reveals that even as much as two drinks every day can prove harmful for such people, as they affect their heart function.
According to lead author Dr. Scott Solomon from Harvard Medical School, alcohol can become toxic for the heart if consumed in high quantities.
The researchers looked at the data recorded for 4,446 participants, both men and women, who were taking part in another study. These participants’ hearts had been scanned when they were 75 years old, on average.
They were asked questions related to their drinking habits. More than a half (2,400 participants) said they were not used to drinking any alcohol, 1,500 were accustomed to having one to seven drinks every week, 402 reported they usually had seven to fourteen drinks and the rest said they drank more than 14.
When Dr. Solomon and his team looked at the size of the heart chambers, they realized a higher amount of alcohol consumption led to an increased left ventricular mass.
“We found that as you get past the moderate alcohol exposure into two drinks or above per day in men, we start to see evidence of alteration of structure and function that we think could potentially in the long term be deleterious,” said Dr. Solomon.
Women displayed about the same damage if they only had one drink per day. According to the lead author of the study, women are more vulnerable to the cardiotoxic effect alcohol has. This can lead to important heart damage, even if only a moderate consumption of alcohol is recorded.
Thus, in spite of the good effects of moderate quantities of some alcoholic drinks, such as beer or red wine, the risks are even greater than some suggested advantages. This is the main reason why so many doctors don’t recommend any dose of alcohol unless it is consumed occasionally.
The results of this research will be published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.
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