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Moderate wine consumption cuts stroke risk

Journal of the American Heart Association 1998:29:2467-2472
According to a 16-year study of 13,300 men and women in Denmark, the moderate consumption of wine is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. (Moderate is defined as up to two 4 oz. drinks in a 24 hour period). Compared with abstainers, individuals who said they drank wine on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis had a 16%, 34%, and 32% reduced risk of stroke, respectively.

Researchers believe wine's protective effects may be linked to disease-fighting compounds other than alcohol such as flavonoids and tannins. The researchers found "no association between intake of beer or spirits on risk of stroke." They speculate that drinking patterns specific to wine lovers may also influence cardiovascular health. One recent study concluded that mealtime alcohol consumption reduced unhealthy alterations in blood composition that can occur after eating.

Note: In a press release, the American Heart Association notes that it "does not recommend that individuals start drinking to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke." Experts point out that excessive drinking can actually raise the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.

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