Alcohol may be beneficial, but only if drunk in small to moderate amounts. At higher levels, it can harm your health. Drinking regular, small amounts of all types of alcohol may reduce your risk of heart disease. It is generally thought that a unit or two, some days of the week, probably protects adults of all ages against heart disease.
Research shows that small amounts of alcohol may help to thin the blood and reduce the risk of clots forming in blood vessels. It may also affect the way that cholesterol is carried in the bloodstream, reducing the risk of fatty deposits building up in blood vessel walls. This can reduce the risk of ischaemic strokes, where clots or fatty build-up cause a blockage in a blood vessel.
Although drinking small amounts of alcohol a day has been found to offer some protection against heart attack and stroke, there are still more effective ways to protect your health. These include eating a healthy diet, staying active, getting enough sleep, and having regular health checks as recommended by your doctor.