`Red wine has no special protective qualities`

Sydney: The myth that red wine is good for preventing heart attacks has come under question from health experts, who have said that any type of alcoholic drink can only do a drinker damage.

The Alcohol Policy Coalition has challenged the red wine “myth” with recent international research showing that light drinkers are at less risk of heart disease than abstainers.

The coalition cites studies finding that the harms from alcohol are likely to outweigh any benefits.

“Every drinking occasion contributes to the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol,” a newspaper quoted the report as saying.

The coalition, whose members include the Australian Drug Foundation, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council of Victoria, have released the report to coincide with the United Nations meeting to promote international efforts to counter non-communicable disease.

The coalition is also using the report to step up pressure on the government to rethink its refusal to give serious consideration to the reform of alcohol taxation at next month’s tax summit.

The chief executive of the Victorian Heart Foundation, Kathy Bell, said it did not recommend red wine or other alcoholic drinks to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease, cancer or liver cirrhosis.

“After reviewing all the scientific evidence, it appears any positive effects of alcohol in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease have been hugely overestimated,” she said.

“In particular, red wine has no special protective qualities,” she added.


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