Research published in the European Heart Journal and carried out at Harvard Medical School found that after having a heart attack, men who were already consuming one or two alcoholic drinks a day, live longer than men who either drink much more or men who don’t drink at all.

The exact reason for this benefit is unknown. It may be because the alcohol makes the blood less likely to clot, and/or reduces inflammation or because in moderation, alcohol raises HDL, the good cholesterol.


One alcoholic drink was defined as a beer, or 4 ounces of wine or a shot of hard liquor.

The study commented on the benefits of 1- 2 alcoholic drinks in men that were already drinking. It did say that men who weren’t drinking should start after a heart attack, but it didn’t say that they shouldn’t either. My guess is that unless you have diabetes or some other reason that your physician thinks you should avoid alcohol. Consuming 1 drink a day after a heart attack may help and probably won’t hurt.

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

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