February 16/Boston/Metro (U.K.) -- A couple of glasses of wine a day can pose a serious long-term threat to health, new research has concluded.
While the effects of heavy alcohol consumption have been well documented, it is the first time warnings have been attached to moderate drinking, said doctors.
They said even light drinking can bring on heart palpitations or even heart attacks.
"The consistent message is that there is a difference between heavy and moderate use of alcohol, between binge drinking and a healthy pattern of drinking, and inherent health risk," said Prof Curtis Ellison, of Boston University Medical Center.
"The most important question would be: does light to moderate drinking increase the risk of an irregular heartbeat? Our conclusion seems to be yes." His team reviewed research which monitored the health of nearly 50,000 people in Denmark and found men were more at risk from moderate drinking than women.
The pattern of alcohol consumption, including speed, the time and whether food is eaten, affects risk too.
British health experts recommend men drink no more than four units in any day -- about two pints of beer or two glasses of wine -- with two or three "dry" days in between.
From the February 17, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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