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Triple by-pass operation, moderate consumption of whiskey, side effects, benefits

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Five years ago I had a triple by-pass operation. My first cardiologist after op suggested that moderate (1 or 2 per day) consumption of whisky would be beneficial. New doctor totally against all alcohol. Your advice?
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Jagdish 23 minutes later

Thanks for your query,

According to American Heart Association moderate alcohol drinking is not harmful. An average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women are acceptable. (A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.)

Are there potential benefits of drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages?
Alcohol has three benefits :antioxidants, an increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol or anti-clotting properties. The best-known effect of alcohol is a small increase in HDL cholesterol. But exercise and niacin do the same effect.
Alcohol may prevent platelets in the blood from sticking together. That may reduce clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Aspirin may help reduce blood clotting in a similar way. American Heart Association does not encourage to drink as there is no scientific proof that drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverage can replace these conventional measures.

So if you drink in moderation that is fine. If you cross limits, you loose benefits. But all benefits of alcohol are covered by conventional measures.

Disclaimer: The Expert’s advice is provided for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, as a complete assessment of an individual has not taken place. Please consult your nearest physician before acting on it. The advice is not valid for medico-legal purposes also.

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