A glass of wine is / is not good for your health

We all know that drinking a lot of alcohol is bad for your health. But science is divided on the effects of moderate alcohol consumption. For example, it has long been argued that one glass of wine a day helps to keep your blood pressure low and your heart healthy. Wondering whether that one glass is healthy or not? Then read on quickly!

The effect of alcohol on blood pressure

Having high blood pressure is partly a genetic predisposition. Your lifestyle also plays an important role. Smoking, obesity, eating too much salt, little exercise and stress; All of these factors affect your blood pressure. Your alcohol consumption also plays a role.

When you drink alcohol, your blood pressure rises. The moment your body breaks down the alcohol, your blood pressure drops again. In men, the risk of higher blood pressure increases with every glass of alcohol, in women the risk increases from three glasses. Long-term excessive alcohol consumption (three drinks a day and more) can lead to high blood pressure and permanent damage to the blood vessels. Also binge drinking (drinking four or more units of alcohol in a row for a woman or six or more drinks for a man) poses an additional risk. For example, your blood pressure rises acutely and the risk of heart disease is higher with binge drinking 45% than with regular alcohol consumption.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure in your arteries. This pressure is needed to pump your blood throughout your body so that your organs and muscles get the oxygen they need to function. Your blood pressure consists of two values: an upper pressure and a lower pressure.

When your blood pressure is measured, the highest value represents the upper pressure. Upper pressure is the pressure in the arteries when your heart contracts and the blood pushes into the arteries. This puts a high pressure on the vessel wall. The lowest value is the negative pressure. This is the pressure in the arteries when your heart relaxes between two heartbeats.

High bloodpressure

Your blood pressure can be normal, high or low. An ideal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. If you measure a value of 140/90 or higher, you have high blood pressure. Having low blood pressure is not harmful, although a (too) low blood pressure can lead to dizziness or cause fainting. High blood pressure is unhealthy.

High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and lead to cardiovascular disease, including a heart attack or stroke.

Source: Hartstichting.nl

Is one glass of alcohol a day good for your health?

Is a glass of red wine (or another glass of alcohol) every day good for your heart? This is still a matter of debate among scientists. The Health Council, for example, states on the basis of research that moderate drinkers (0.2 to 0.8 glasses of alcohol per day) have a 20% less chance of heart failure than abstainers.

Scientists who are critical of this outcome indicate that the studies on which the Health Council relies do not distinguish within the group of 'abstainers' between people who have never touched a glass of alcohol and people who, because of a previous alcohol addiction or for other health reasons, have stopped drinking. This gives a distorted picture of the general health of the group of non-drinkers. Another point of criticism is that many studies do not take sufficient account of the influence of other lifestyle factors, such as smoking and exercise.

Recent large-scale research has taken all these factors into account. It turns out that moderate alcohol consumption also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (source: trimbos.nl).

Not the best medicine

Regardless of whether or not alcohol lowers blood pressure, all scientists agree on one thing: drinking alcohol is never the way to work on your health. There are much more effective solutions. For example: sufficient exercise, healthy eating or quitting smoking. Do you do all that? Then you reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by no less than 84%. Bam! No red wine can beat that score.

 

 

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