Good news: studies have shown that alcohol can lower the risk of heart disease. While for a time it seemed that only red wine had this power, experts now say that any alcohol -- wine, beer, or spirits -- has the same effect. Moderate drinking lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems by 25% to 40%.
But here’s the bummer: more isn’t better. Experts say that men should limit themselves to two drinks a day at most. Any more than that and your risks go up again, since excessive alcohol intake can lead to liver damage, high blood pressure, and many kinds of cancer -- not to mention the risks of alcohol abuse.
If you’ve been a teetotaler all your life, don’t start drinking for health reasons. The benefits are modest, and drinking increases other risks. If you don’t drink and want to improve your health, just do an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill.