Is the Party Over? The Latest Research on the Pros and Cons of Drinking Alcohol
Scientists spill the truth about drinking and your health.
But the French paradox offered a bonbon of hope. Some researchers suggested that the secret to French coronary health was, in part, the red wine sipped over the course of a long, leisurely dinner.
I began having wine with my dinner too. And even if I finished my second glass while hunched over the sink scouring pots, I still felt a bit of that French glamour. As if it were Edith Piaf wailing in the background, not Bruce Springsteen.
Then I heard someone say that drinking moderate amounts of any alcohol was good for the heart. While wine is thought to have hundreds of substances, such as resveratrol (an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes linked with cardiovascular benefits and cancer prevention), that favorably affect health, I, too, began reading the reports that suggested that any form of alcohol increases “good” cholesterol, decreases inflammation and “thins” the blood, making dangerous blood clots less likely. Lo, another door to the good life opened! I didn’t learn to mix anything fancier than a vodka-and-tonic at home, but when my girlfriends and I went out we ordered drinks that were considerably more exotic, with silly names: the Coexistence Collins, the Rose of Warsaw, Bluebeard’s Passion. (Surely, no one has more fun coming up with names than cocktail designers and breeders of thoroughbred racehorses.) It was easy to feel downright virtuous as we sipped our drinks, especially as we heard about new studies suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption also lessened the risk of stroke and increased bone density.