Does moderate drinking really do the heart good? Probably not.

a wine glass

Is that glass of wine with dinner really good for your heart? Over the years, a number of studies have shown that adults who drink moderately have lower heart disease rates than non-drinkers. 

But a new paper led by scientists at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research (CARBC) says probably not. The analysis, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, looked at 45 previous cohort studies and found flaws in the widely held belief. The main reason: “non-drinkers” may, in fact, be former drinkers who quit or cut down for health reasons.

“The study provides grounds for a healthy skepticism around the idea that moderate drinking is good for you,” says CARBC director Tim Stockwell.

“We know that people generally cut down on drinking as they age, especially if they have health problems,” Stockwell notes. “People who continue to be moderate drinkers later in life tend to be the healthier seniors. They’re not sick, or taking medications that can interact with alcohol.”

Read the full UVic media release.

Read the release on EurekAlert!