That beer belly might save your life after all. A study finds that enjoying a beer a day may help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The study of 80,000 healthy adults in China found the natural decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is what we refer to as “good” cholesterol, in the body was slowed by a moderate intake of alcohol. In looking at how various types of alcohol raised or lowered one’s risk, researchers determined that HDL levels decreased the slowest among those who drank moderate amounts (one serving a day for women and two for men) of beer.
“Among hard liquor drinkers, only self-reported light (men drinking less than 1 serving a day; women drinking zero to .4 servings daily) to moderate drinking resulted in slower rates of HDL decline,” according to a release.
The decrease in HDL levels was not as slow for heavy drinkers or folks who abstained from alcohol completely.
The research did not yield enough data on the effect of HDL decline from wine consumption to be able to draw conclusions.
“Almost without exception if you look at fatal and non fatal heart disease, people who drink in moderation have substantially lower rates than people who abstain,” study author Shue Huang told RT. “All the more reason to raise a glass – but probably not more than that.”