A HALF WILL GET YOU FIVE
Light drinking might just add years to your life. Consuming half a glass of wine a day may add five years a new study suggests. Drinking a moderate amount of beer does seem to add to longevity but only by 2.5 years. Dutch researchers followed 1373 men for more than four decades, noting their eating and drinking habits. According to the research, men who had about 2O grams of alcohol daily, the equivalent of a half a glass of wine, had 2.5 years added to their life expectancy at age 5O, compared with men who didn’t drink at all. Men who consumed only wine had twice as much added longevity. Light alcohol intake was linked to lower cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and overall mortality in the study. Researchers had known that moderate drinking is tied to a lower risk of heart disease, possibly because of an increase in high density lipoprotein, or so-called good cholesterol, as well as a reduction in platelet clumping, making it more unlikely for clots to form. It is the first study to show that one kind of alcohol is superior to others in prolonging life. “In this study, 7O percent of all wine consumed was red wine,” the researchers, led by Marinette Streppel of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, said in the paper. “This suggests that the cardioprotective effect of wine could be due to a protective effect of polyphenol compounds in red wine, but other explanations cannot be ruled out.” The research, dubbed the Zutphen Study after the Dutch town from which the participants were recruited, followed men born between 19OO and 192O and examined them several times between 196O and 2OOO. The research was published in the journal of epidemiology and community health in April.