Compared to people who drink no alcohol at all, those who have a drink a day are between 14 - 25% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, say researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada.
That's because a small amount of alcohol increases levels of 'good' cholesterol, say the experts. It's good to have a certain amount of HDL-cholesterol (high density lipoproteins cholesterol, or 'good' cholesterol) in your blood as it's the type of cholesterol that's good for your cardiovascular system (HDL clears 'bad' cholesterol - the type that, when it builds up in your blood vessels, leads to heart disease - from the body).
The report examined the findings of 63 studies on alcohol and it's relation to cholesterol and fats in the blood. But exactly what you drink is irrelevant, the researchers explain, as it's the alcohol itself that's good for your heart.
However, don't take the news as an excuse to over-indulge, says Cathy Ross, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation. "Drinking more than sensible amounts of alcohol does not offer any protection and can cause high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers and damage to our heart.
"If you don't drink, this is not a reason to start. Similar results can be achieved by being physically active and eating a balanced and healthy diet."
What's your favourite tipple?
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more