Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wine and Cholesterol

Much has been written about the health benefits of wine, and periodically I will provide this information (so that you can better justify your wine drinking). Today's post deals specifically with wine and HDL (aka "good") cholesterol. An article in Prevention Magazine recently reported that a 1-point rise in HDL cholesterol protects the heart at least as much as a 1-point drop in LDL ("bad") cholesterol. According to the author of a Johns Hopkins study on the subject, each will reduce your risk of fatal heart attack by 2%. Got that? 1 point increase in HDL = 2% reduction of fatal heart attack.

The Prevention Magazine article goes on to describe ways to boost your HDL, and what do you think was on the list? That's right - drinking a glass of wine a day (or to be fair, any alcoholic beverage in this case) will increase your HDL by 4 points. That's the same increase as you would get from quitting smoking, and a greater increase than you'd get by losing 10 pounds, or walking briskly a couple of times a week. In fact, you'd have to lose over 25 pounds to see the same 4 point increase as you'd get from that daily glass of wine. So... which would you rather do -- drink a daily glass of wine, or quit smoking, lose weight, and exercise?

Drink wine? I thought so.


Blogger knowlengr said...

Was there a differential effect for red wine?

10:29 PM  
Blogger Ann Latner said...

Actually, in this case they just said "1 alcoholic beverage a day."

10:34 PM  

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