A pint of beer a day could help reduce the risk of having a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease, new research has found.

A study of 80,000 adults found the natural decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, in the body was slowed by a moderate intake of alcohol.

The results showed that one or two daily servings of alcohol for a man, or up to one for a woman, was associated with a slower HDL decline than either not drinking at all, or drinking too heavily.

While the trend applied to both beer and spirits, the effect was most visible for drinkers of beer, the Pennsylvania State University study found.

The research, which was conducted among Chinese adults, did not yield enough data on the effect of HDL decline from wine consumption to be able to draw conclusions.

Current UK Government advice recommends that both men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol each week, the equivalent of six pints of average strength beer.

The previous guidelines, ditched in January this year, advised a limit of 21 units for men and 14 for women.

Presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, the new research showed that moderate drinking arrested the decline in HDL as people get older more than twice as much than heavy drinking, which is defined as more than one daily serving of alcohol women and more than two for men.

The scientists said more studies were needed to determine whether the alcohol-HDL association applied to non-Chinese populations.

Source: The Telegraph
Henry Bodkin
13 November 2016