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A pint of beer a day may boost your heart health

Afp/Relaxnews / November 21, 2011

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(Relaxnews) - It’s well known that red wine can benefit your heart but a new study announced last week touts the health benefits of beer.

Published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, the study is an analysis of 16 studies involving more than 200,000 participants. Researchers found that people who drank about a pint of beer a day had a 31 percent reduced risk of heart disease. For those who consumed more alcohol, either beer, wine, or liquor, their risk “surged,” noted MyHealthNewsDaily. The study was conducted by Research Laboratories at the Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura "Giovanni Paolo I," in Campobasso, Italy.

"Alcohol in moderation can increase your HDL, your good cholesterol," registered dietician Andrea Giancoli of the American Dietetic Association explained to MyHealthNewsDaily. "The higher your HDL is, the more protected you are against heart disease."

Giancoli also noted that beer may have some benefits not found in wine. Beer contains more water, which is more filling and therefore makes it easier for some people to moderate their alcohol intake.

While the findings reveal good news for beer drinkers, the researchers issue a strong word of caution.

"What we are talking about is moderate and regular drinking,” said lead researcher Augusto Di Castelnuovo. “I think we will never stress enough this concept. Wine or beer are part of a lifestyle. One glass can pair with healthy foods, eaten at proper time, maybe together with family of friends. There is no place for binge drinking or any other form of heavy consumption.”

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