“Our findings could have public health implications in that we appear to have a clearer understanding of the dangers of combining smoking and moderate drinking on overall stroke risk,” according to Yangmei Li, MPhil, with the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
“While heavy alcohol consumption is considered to increase the risk of stroke, the relationship between light to moderate drinking and stroke has varied considerably among studies,” said Li. “It’s possibly these conflicting results could be explained by the interaction between cigarette smoking and alcohol on stroke risk.” This reinforces the evidence that smoking not only increases stroke risk on its own but may additionally affect adversely how other lifestyle factors may relate to stroke risk.
Although there have been reports showing a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and cancer rates, light to moderate drinking of red wine increases HDL (good) cholesterol, may help regulate blood sugar and can even help you digest your food and absorb its nutrients. The polyphenols in red wine have been found to have antioxidant properties–protecting cells from oxidative damage caused by molecules called free radicals.