(Live Science) The benefits of a glass of wine in warding off heart disease have been much discussed, but a new analysis indicates that some of those same benefits may be gleaned from a beer.
Researchers analyzed 16 studies involving more than 200,000 participants and found that the heart disease risk for moderate beer drinkers – those who drank about a pint a day – was reduced 31% on average.
"That's not surprising – they both have alcohol," said registered dietician Andrea Giancoli, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, who was not involved with the new study.
And, as in the case of wine consumption, the risk surged with an increase in alcohol intake.
"Alcohol in moderation can increase your HDL, your good cholesterol," Giancoli explained. "The higher your HDL is, the more protected you are against heart disease."
The researchers wrote in their findings that small amounts of alcohol also seem to have a beneficial effect on blood platelets and inflammation, among other health effects.
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