Daily glass of red wine not good for the heart,  insist Spanish doctors

FAMILY doctors in Spain have debunked the popular myth about how a glass of red wine a day is good for the heart.

In fact, they stress that there is no minimum, safe-alcohol level, and that any volume of alcohol at all increases the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The National Cancer Research and Care Charity AECC has previously stated that every sip of alcohol is an increase in the risk of developing this devastating disease.

Now, the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) has reaffirmed this in Málaga, at its recent 39th Congress there.

For a long time, unsubstantiated claims have been doing the rounds about how 30 grams of red wine a day is good for the heart, even helping to reverse the effects in anyone already diagnosed with a heart condition.

But says SemFYC: “There are no reasons for recommending the consumption of any type of alcohol to the population as beneficial for health.”

Professor Julio Basulto from the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing Sciences, refers to other popular alcohol myths, such as whisky being conducive to “being a good lover”, and says: “There are no well-designed, scientific studies that support any physical health benefits, deriving from alcohol.

“On the contrary, the ‘healthy’ glass-a-day cited by certain media and social media sources ‘demonstrably’ ups the risk of high blood pressure, haemorrhagic stroke and auricular fibrillation.”

The professor referred to a study, published in the medical journal BMC Public Health, which found that if a non-smoking woman drinks a bottle of wine a week, six small glasses, or three large glasses in seven days, her risk of developing breast cancer rises by the equivalent of smoking two cigarettes a day.

In fact, one in every five types of breast cancer is caused directly by alcohol, claims the BMC Public Health report. And Professor Basulto stresses: “The medical profession needs to get rid of the idea of ‘moderate alcohol consumption’ carrying no health risks.”

He adds: “This idea about alcohol being good for heart health is not only questionable and full of confusion, bias and absence of biological mechanisms to support it, but does not consider the carcinogenic potential of alcohol.”

Also, at the SemFYC, an article by the American Institute for Cancer Research was quoted, stating: “Even small amounts of alcoholic drinks can increase the risk for several types of cancer.

“There is no minimum consumption threshold, below which the risk of cancer does not increase, at least for certain types of the disease.”

Despite this, nine in 10 people questioned were unaware of the increased risk of cancer through drinking red wine in particular, but nine in 10 believed that doing so was good for heart health.

And the American Institute of Cancer Research insists: “Healthy-heart properties in red wine cited, but not proven, represent one-tenth of the properties which are harmful to the heart and conducive to cancer-risk increase.”

SemFYC Congress members also raised concerns about alcohol consumption in minors, pointing out: “The reality is that teenagers do drink, and always have done. But as their brains are not fully developed, they are causing permanent damage by doing so.”

Education about alcohol should focus on abstaining altogether, and laws banning sale and consumption to the under-18s should be reinforced, said doctors at the Congress. They added that there was no safe level of drinking for anyone under this age.

For those who drink a glass of red wine a day to “benefit” from the flavonoids and antioxidants in it, which may increase heart health, the damaging effects of this glass-a-day are 10 times that of the “helpful” ingredients, says the SemFYC.

It recommends that to obtain the benefits of the same types of flavonoids and antioxidants, people should eat grapes and wholegrain cereals instead.


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Posted by on May 24 2019. Filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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