LONDON — It might just be enough to kill your buzz: A new study challenges the idea that a drink or two a day could actually be good for you.
In a study conducted in China, researchers found that moderate drinking slightly raised the risk of stroke and high blood pressure. They weren’t able to figure out, though, whether small amounts of alcohol might also increase the chances of a heart attack.
People who have a drink or two a day have long been thought to have a lower risk of stroke and heart problems than nondrinkers. But scientists were unsure if that was because the alcohol was beneficial or if the people who didn’t drink had other health issues.
Peto said their findings should apply to other populations beyond China and to any alcoholic drinks even though the study participants mostly drank spirits. For their research, the Chinese and British scientists took genetics into account. They focused on two variants common among East Asians that can make drinking unpleasant. For those with the variants, drinking alcohol can result in quickly turning red, a fast heart rate, nausea or headaches.