Alcohols Effect on Health

Monday, March 29, 2010

The effect of alcohol on health is complex. For some people, even mild alcohol use carries major risks. For others, moderate alcohol use may offer a degree of protection. Dr. Edward Hill discusses alcohol and heart disease in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Research is ongoing to clarify the relationship of alcohol and the heart. Findings in recent years suggest that moderate alcohol consumption does offer some protection against heart disease for some people.

Moderate drinking is defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.

Specific suspected heart-related benefits of alcohol include:

Elevated HDL, or good cholesterol level.

Lowered blood pressure.

Inhibition of blood clot formation, and

Prevention of artery damage caused by high LDL, or bad cholesterol.

On the other hand, many of the benefits that may be gained by consuming alcohol can be achieved through diet and exercise.

Alcohol consumption can also have negative consequences. Those who have heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, arrhythmia, stroke, obesity, or high triglycerides should speak to their doctor before drinking alcohol. Alcohol can interact with several medications. If you are pregnant or have a history of addiction, you should avoid alcohol.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.