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Why You Should Have a Drink, Skip the Smoke

“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.

Related:
Herbs to Help Stop Smoking
10 Ways to Help Prevent a Stroke

Read more: All recipes, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, News & Issues

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

112 comments

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8:15AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Thanks for the info.

1:39AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Thanks for information!

11:56AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

but most people can't drink alcohol during work hours . . .

6:05AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:03PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thanks.

6:26AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Thank you for the article.

11:12PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

OK

12:30PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Sooooo...do you mean to tell me that it only took 50 million deaths from SMOKING to FIGURE THIS OUT? And who on earth is trying to link ALCOHOL in with SMOKING? Could it be the TOBACCO INDUSTRY TRYING TO BLAME ALCOHOL???? Now that we have POSITIVE PROOF THAT TOBACCO CAUSES YOU TO DIE A SLOW, PAINFUL DEATH, WHY DON'T WE BAN ALCOHOL, the WRONG THING? TOBACCO JUST HASN'T KILLED ENOUGH PEOPLE YET!!!!! SECOND HAND SMOKE KILLS THOUSANDS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN A YEAR!!!!

8:05AM PST on Feb 24, 2012

interactive effects probably exist in lots of other health areas, too--evidence taken out of context rather than in the full context can be misleading

1:15PM PST on Feb 2, 2012

I don't smoke but I guess I won't feel too bad about that glass of beer I have twice a week. I'm feeling worse about that glass of soda I drank today since the dangers of it seem to be worse than alcohol!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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