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A pint a day keeps the doctor away - scientific FACT

Latest study shows beer as beneficial as wine

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The latest boffinry news brings good news for beer lovers: statistics have shown that moderate quaffing confers a significant benefit to cardiovascular health. You will actually be noticeably healthier than a teetotaller if you down a little more than a pint a day on average, and as healthy as a teetotaller if you drink a bit more.

At some point, however, more becomes less and a constant heavy boozer will be less healthy even than an unhealthy teetotaller.

"What we are talking about is moderate and regular drinking," says Augusto Di Castelnuovo, one of the researchers who produced the new analysis.

"I think we will never stress enough this concept. Wine or beer are part of a lifestyle. One glass can pair with healthy foods, eaten at proper time, maybe together with family or friends. There is no place for binge drinking or any other form of heavy consumption."

It had already been well known that a spot of wine on a daily basis was good news for the heart, but Castelnuovo and his colleagues' work is the first to show that beer is also a boon to the ticker. With heart disease a major killer, this is information worth acting upon.

According to the scientists' analysis, assuming premium lager which is 5 per cent alcohol by volume, best results are obtained with steady consumption at "slightly more than an English pint a day". This would naturally increase somewhat for those who favour a less alcoholic brew - assuming, that is, that alcohol is the active ingredient providing the health benefit, which the scientists are by no means sure of. Both wine and beer contain polyphenols - albeit different ones - and it may be these rather than the alcohol making drinkers' hearts healthier.

The new research is published in the European Journal of Epidemiology. ®

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