Most of us like a drink (or two) every now and then. And, let’s face it, everywhere we go alcohol and alcohol consumption are part and parcel of our culture. The risks of alcohol consumption and, more specifically, over-consumption have been documented in many medical studies. And the tragic statistics involved with driving while intoxicated are not open to debate.

However, one topic that continues to come to the forefront is what amount of alcohol is healthy for consumption? Hops in beer helps protect brain cells from damage. Red wine, as you may know, has had plenty of attention because of its antioxidant properties, found in the skin of red grapes. It’s known to protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. Of course, you could eat the red grapes themselves.

When it comes to safe consumption, however, there are misconceptions circulating about alcohol and the elderly. New research, too, shows that drinking and heart disease are closely linked, especially when it comes to seniors.

Alcohol and seniors
A study of seniors 65 and older, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, indicates that the severity of heart damage can increase alongside a rise in alcohol intake. The research team noted that their findings back up guidelines recommending that when people drink, they should do so in moderation.

When we define moderate alcohol consumption, that means no more than one alcoholic drink for women, that is one beer, glass of wine or smaller amount of liquor, on a given day. Likewise, men should only consume two of these drinks a day.

The latest American research tested the effect of weekly alcohol consumption among 4,466 older people – with an average age of 76 – on the size, structure and motion of various parts of the heart, using cardiac imaging techniques.

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