Cheers! Moderate Drinking May Help Prevent Blood Clots
WebMD News Archive
Myers is not suggesting that people who don't drink should start, but, he
says, from the point of view of protecting against heart disease, "I would
suggest that moderate drinking ? and no binge drinking ? is probably not
harmful. I would not leap to conclusions about any particular beneficial effect
of drinking in general or drinking any specific type of beverage."
"The small magnitude of the changes ? is only a clue to what alcohol
does to blood clotting," Thomas DeLoughery, MD, who was not involved in the
study, tells WebMD. He also points out that methods of studying platelets in
blood that have been removed from the body are not as precise as methods used
to evaluate them while they are circulating in the bloodstream. Myers' tests on
the platelets were done in a test tube.
DeLoughery acknowledges that studies on large groups of people have shown
that those who consume moderate amounts of alcohol have fewer heart attacks,
and he finds the Georgetown University study interesting. Nevertheless, he says
bigger and better studies in humans are needed to determine the true effect of
moderate alcohol use on blood clotting. "Certainly one should not adopt a
potentially risky habit based on one laboratory study," he adds. DeLoughery
is associate professor of medicine and director of anticoagulation services at
Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.
- Studies have shown that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have
lower death rates than those who abstain from drinking or who drink
- Alcohol is known to increase levels of the "good" cholesterol, or
HDL, and new research shows that it may act as a blood thinner.
- In the new study, drinking alcohol decreased the clumping together of
clotting cells in the blood, a process that can lead to blood vessel blockages
in the heart and possibly a heart attack.