Moderate alcohol consumption for older Australians has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. That is according to a new study which followed the drinking habits of 18,000 people over the age of 70.
Participants were followed over a three-to-seven year period and none of the those involved had existing heart issues or other severe diseases.
But what the study didn’t look at is why alcohol appeared to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.
Professor Ryan says previous studies have shown that anti-oxidants found in red wine can be beneficial, but they can also be found in fruit and vegetables.
The Heart Foundation's Julie Anne Mitchell says that alcohol isn’t considered to be part of a healthy diet and the findings should be approached with some caution.
We have to interpret the findings cautiously and certainly any one study does not justify a change in recommendations or views. I think that if people stick to the advice of the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) and indeed the Heart Foundations alcohol and cardiovascular guidelines then drinking alcohol in moderation is recommended and if you don't drink alcohol there's not a reason to start.
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