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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conrad

Myth: One Glass of Wine a Day Helps Your Heart

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

Claim: Ethanol (alcohol) Helps Protect the Cardiovascular System

High in antioxidant polyphenols, red wine, in particular, has consistently been shown to improve a variety of health outcomes, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, some cancers, and diabetes. I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard that. Daily moderate consumption (one to two standard drinks) of red wine is recommended, as part of a healthy diet.

New studies have been done to challenge the benefits of wine to your health. A study based on data from 1990-2016 across 195 countries found that there were some protective effects of ethanol against heart disease and diabetes in females, but the negative effects outweigh the positive (Adhikari). Kinda like those TV commercials for allergy medications where you can breath easier, but the side effects results in liver disease, stroke, death, etc. Is it really worth it??

Not only did this study fail to find any ethanol-related health benefits, the authors concluded that no level of ethanol consumption was safe. Irrespective of the amount consumed, ethanol consumption appears to negatively impact health and contribute to premature death, particularly in males. We may be overestimating how safe alcohol is.

I really don't see the benefit of tastes terrible and you feel like shit the next day. Why would you want that? Moderation is key, but keep in mind you're literally poisoning your body. So I wouldn't follow the rumor of drinking one glass of wine a day in hopes of helping your heart. There are more effective options.

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