How alcohol affects your heart?

At the end of 2015, we explored the effects of cholesterol and the small changes you can make to help your heart. Now, this year we’ve identified how lifestyle choices – for example, watching what you drink – can help lead to a healthier, happier 2016.

The health effects of alcohol have been the source of some debate for years. Some studies in the past have indicated that a moderate intake of alcohol – roughly one drink for women and two drinks for men per day – might actually help to guard against heart attack and stroke1,2.

However, recent guidelines now suggest that the risks associated with drinking alcohol consumption may start from any level of regular drinking, and rise with the amount being consumed3

Alcohol and heart health

Consistent consumption of 40 units a week increases the likelihood of cirrhosis – permanent liver scarring. Heavy drinking over a long period of time can also increase your risk of developing heart disease.

In part this is because high alcohol consumption can contribute to raised LDL, or “bad” cholesterol – which may combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque deposits that narrow arteries and block blood flow.