wineheart

Alcohol is Good for You, Drink Up!

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”― Benjamin Franklin

I think ol’ Ben was onto something here, and apparently so do the researchers. According to a new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, people who abstain from alcohol have an increased risk of an early death compared to the moderate to heavy drinkers — say what?

During the 20 year-long study, researchers followed 1,824 participants between the ages of 55 and 65. They discovered that nearly 69 percent of the non-drinkers died during the experimentation, while only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers passed away and 61 percent of the heavy consumers.

Are they suggesting pounding obscene amounts of booze are good for us? No. But researchers have found that consuming alcohol such as a glass of red wine a day can increase cardiovascular health, reduce stress and promote healthy socialization.

Happy Heart: Now this is kind of a long shot (no pun intended), but according to Discovery Health, alcohol can reduce the effects of a condition known as Atherosclerosis — Clogging or narrowing of the arteries due to a sticky, fatty substance known as cholesterol, which commonly results in a heart attack. The speculation behind this is that alcohol is said to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol. (This is the cholesterol that our hearts like!) By decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increasing HDL levels, the heart stays happy, and we can keep drinking.

Woosah Young Grasshopper: After a grueling day at the office, there is nothing more enticing than a cold beer or a shot of Jameson to calm those nerves, and science agrees this can be good for us. The effects of stress can be damaging to your health, and yes, so can drinking, but a little sip here and there will increase the up-regulation of GABA receptors (quiets the busy brain) and provide the body with rich antioxidants and resveratrol — a natural phenol and phytoalexin produced by plants. It’s like getting your daily recommended serving of veggies and a buzz all in one glass.

You Social Butterfly You: A new study suggests that the consumption of alcohol in moderation  promotes healthy socialization — shocker! According to sociologists behind the study, loneliness is far more dangerous than a casual brew. As humans we have a natural urge to engage with others and without this stimulation we have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and isolation. I’m not saying you have to drink to have friends, but it can help ease your nerves and build up the courage to talk to someone new.

Get out there and have a drink. Doctor’s orders!