A new study has shown that even light-to-moderate consumption of alcoholic drink increases blood pressure and the chances of having a stroke.
Published in the Lancet medical journal, the study contradicts previous findings that suggest moderate drinking could prevent health diseases.
Researchers from Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and the University of Oxford followed the effects of alcohol on stroke in 500,000 Chinese people for 10 years.
The researchers said Chinese formed the study group because of their distinct gene combination which reduces their alcohol tolerance level. This genetic variant can make consuming alcoholic drink an unpleasant experience and lead to flushing.
The scientists were able to study the impact of alcohol on people drawn from health, lifestyle and genetic data.
The study found that some didn’t drink because of their genetic mutation, while female-participants drank little despite their genetic variance.
The men on average drank four drinks a day and were at a far higher risk of suffering high blood pressure and strokes.
At the end, the study revealed that one glass of alcoholic drink a day increased stroke risk by 10 per cent to 15 per cent and that four drinks a day increased the risk of having a stroke by 35 per cent.
It means no matter the type of alcoholic drink you reach for, don’t expect it to protect you from stroke or other disease.
For the purposes of the study, one drink was a small glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a single measure of spirits.
Zhengming Chen, co-author of the study, said in a press release that “there are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke.”
Although many leading scientists agreed with the study’s findings, Stephen Burgees, a researcher at the University of Cambridge noted the study was limited to Chinese and focused on spirits, beer and not wine.
Burgees further agreed with the study’s findings “that risk of stroke increases even with moderate light alcohol consumption.”
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