(NewsNation Now) — If you’ve been leaning on some recent wisdom that wine may be good for the heart to ease the guilt of a glass or two at the end of a long day, the World Heart Federation (WHF) has some bad news for you.
“To date, no reliable correlation has been found between moderate alcohol consumption and a lower risk of heart disease,” the WHF said on its website on Thursday, Jan. 20.
It claimed studies that purport to show a link between alcohol consumption and heart health are “based on purely observational research.”
That statement may not feel very smooth on the way down, but at least one doctor says that doesn’t mean you need to take any drastic steps. Dr. Lucy McBride, internist fellow for Bloomberg New Voices, says there is no right or wrong amount of alcohol.
“It really requires context,” McBride said on ‘On Balance with Leland Vittert.’ “And my two main questions to patients when we’re talking about alcohol and their consumption in my office are, number one, how much are you drinking? And number two, let’s talk about your relationship with alcohol.”
The National Institutes of Health found 85 percent of people 18 and older have had at least one alcoholic drink in a 2019 study.
It also found 14.5 million Americans older than 12 had Alcohol Use Disorder. It’s one of the reasons McBride says she was always hesitant to recommend alcohol professionally.
“If someone doesn’t drink, for example, and I knew that wine was good for them, I wouldn’t recommend starting to drink because alcohol carries other risks,” McBride said.
McBride says common sense and safety are important in any discussion about alcohol, whether it shows risks or benefits.
“I don’t tell people, ‘Never drink alcohol, because the study shows it’s not good for you,'” said McBride. “Alcohol is part of people’s social life and everyday life, and it’s a fine substance to use — as long as you have a relationship with it that’s appropriate.”