According to new research, alcohol-free wine can keep doctors away, Experts at Anglia Ruskin University analyzed data from nearly 450,000 people aged 40 to 69 to look at the impacts of moderate alcohol consumption on their health. They found that the risk of chronic heart disease decreased by 40 per cent among those who drink 11 glasses of wine a week. The same reduced risk was found in people who regularly consume non-alcohol versions. The results show that these benefits are due to grapes in alcohol.
Alcohol-free drinks are good for heart health
The Daily Mail reported that it is not alcohol, but the presence of antioxidants in grapes found in alcohol that gives you the benefits Grapes are high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can improve the function of the inner lining of the heart and increase levels of good cholesterol. On the other hand, drinking a moderate amount of beer, cider, or spirits, was linked with about a 10 per cent increased risk. Associate Professor, Dr Rudolph of Anglia Ruskin University said, “I believe that the findings debunk the notion that moderate alcohol consumption can help to reduce heart disease risk.”
The participants themselves reported how much beer, cider, wine, champagne and spirits they consumed per week. The researchers monitored their health for seven years, including total mortality, heart problems, cancer and stroke such as cerebrovascular disease. He explained that people who drank 4-5 glasses of champagne or white wine or 8 to 11 glasses of red wine reduced their risk of coronary heart disease. This relationship is also seen for alcohol-free wine. Rudolph said the research showed an “undeniable protective beneficial relationship” between red and white wine and heart disease. He explained that this relationship is also seen for alcohol-free wine, so it suggests the benefits are thanks to the polyphenols in the wine rather than the alcohol
Drinking alcohol even at a lower level is harmful
Polyphenols have been found to be beneficial to health in a number of studies. According to the research, low-level consumption of beer, cider, and spirits was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke, cancer, and overall mortality The researchers noted that their findings “do not support the notion that alcohol from any drink type is beneficial to health”.
The current recommendations in the UK are to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Dr Rudolph said even low levels of alcohol consumption can be damaging to our health. The results of the research have been published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. Previous studies recommend that drinking alcohol for 3-7 days per week reduces the risk of a heart attack. However, comparing a group of low to moderate drinkers to a ‘risky’ reference group of non-drinkers could wrongly indicate that alcohol is beneficial to health.