Experts often tell us that one glass of wine per day is beneficial for our health.
The World Heart Federation (WHF) has challenged the widespread belief that moderate drinking can lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Wine contains antioxidants, which have health benefits, but the WHF says studies suggesting the drink can be good for us are ‘observational’ – meaning they fail to take into account important factors.
Moderate drinkers may appear healthier than those who don’t, for example, because they have been afflicted with alcohol.
Monika Arora of WHF stated: “The depiction of alcohol as essential for a vibrant and social life has distracted attention from the harmful effects of alcohol usage, as well as the many claims that moderate alcohol consumption, like a glass or red wine per day, may offer protection against heart disease.
World Heart Federation’s stock photo challenges the widespread belief that moderate alcohol consumption can decrease the chance of getting heart disease.
“These claims, at the very least, are misinformed. At worst they’re an attempt to deceive the public about dangers associated with alcohol.”
Matt Lambert from the Portman Group drinks industry trade group said that it was important not to overaggravate the risks of moderate drinking or alarm responsible customers who consume alcohol sensibly.
This week Professor Julia Sinclair (chair of the addictions faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) warned that millions of Britons were causing themselves’silent damage’ by drinking excessively.
People consume alcohol at home and fail to track how much, which leads to them encouraging each other to drink more. She added: “You get what I would consider collusion as a psychiatrist.
“It’s a ‘Should I open another bottle?”
“Yeah let’s get another one.”
A lot of people think they are moderate drinkers. According to the NHS, those who consume less than 14 units of alcohol per week are considered ‘low risk’.
It is equal to either 10 small glasses low-strength wines or six pints of beer of average strength.
The World Heart Federation says there is no safe amount of alcohol. It cites the figures of over 2.4 million deaths worldwide due to alcohol consumption in 2019.
The WHF states that there is no safe amount of alcohol. This is based on the 2019 figure of over 2.4 million deaths worldwide due to alcohol (stock photo)
This was almost 1 in 20 global alcohol-related fatalities, and 12.5% of deaths among men between 15-19 years old.
This non-governmental organization (NGO), which works with the World Health Organisation, (WHO), stated that alcohol can be a psychoactive substance and cause serious damage to the body.
Drinking is linked to several health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Some drinkers of alcohol have taken exception to ‘nanny-state’ warnings, such as the one from Dame Sally Davies in 2016. She told the Commons science committee that women should follow her lead and consider the potential risks of getting breast cancer when they open a bottle of wine.
She later admitted that she was not very good at choosing her words.
WHF’s briefing stated that: “The evidence is clear: Any level of alcohol can lead to loss in healthy life.
Studies have found that alcohol consumption can raise the risk of heart disease. This includes stroke, coronary disease and heart failure.
“Studies that assert otherwise are based only on observational research. This fails to take into account other factors such as preexisting conditions or a history alcoholism among those who were considered ‘abstinent.
“To this date, we have not found any reliable relationship between moderate alcohol intake with a lower chance of getting heart disease.”
According to the organisation, bans on advertising alcohol and tighter restrictions on alcohol availability could be used as a way of stopping people from drinking excessively.