A little alcohol combined with a healthy active lifestyle may be the best recipe for a longer life.
A European Heart Journal study suggests the combination can cut the risk of heart disease. A Danish team found people who led an active lifestyle were less prone to heart disease - but the risk was cut still further if they drank moderately.
However, UK experts warned people should not be encouraged to drink, as too much alcohol can be very damaging. The researchers followed nearly 12,000 men and women for nearly 20 years, during which 1,242 died from ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Overall, they found people who did not drink or take any exercise had the highest risk of heart disease - 49% higher than people who either drank, exercised or did both.
When comparing people who took similar levels of exercise, they found that those who drank moderately - one to 14 units of alcohol a week - were around 30% less likely to develop heart disease than non-drinkers.
This finding held good for people who were completely inactive, through to those who took vigorous regular exercise - with the overall risk declining as exercise levels increased.
Non-drinkers who were physically active had a 31%-33% reduced risk of IHD compared to physically inactive non-drinkers.
But their reduced risk was dwarfed by physically active people who drank at least one drink a week - their risk was up to 50% lower than that of physically inactive non-drinkers.
Source - BBC