As per a new study, consuming small amount of alcohol could lower the stress levels and also reduce the risk of heart diseases. Earlier it has been pin pointed that light to moderate amount of alcohol which is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, could lower the frequency of a big cardiovascular event. However, the researchers here have not been able to pin-point the actual cause. The new research has been conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital and has been published in the American College of Cardiology.
The research found a significant decrease in the stress signaling in brain that could connect to adverse health results. However, it has been clarified by Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, the senior author of the study that they are not advocating the consumption of alcohol to reduce the risk of heart attacks. Dr. Tawakol added that they tried to understand how light to moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The author also said that if they are able to find the mechanism, then they would try to find alternatives that could replicate the effect of alcohol to protect cardio effects without the adverse effects of alcohol.
The study analysis included data from 50,000 individuals where factors like genetics, lifestyle and socioeconomic status were being considered. Despite considering the above elements, lower risk of heart problems were associated with light to moderate alcohol consumption. The researchers said that people who indulged in light to moderate alcohol had reduced stress in the amygdala – this is where the brain is able to process stress response. It was also observed that such people also had fewer heart attacks and strokes.
This is a study that is first to suggest that alcohol consumption has long-term effects on reducing the activity of amygdala. When the amygdala is too alert, the sympathetic nervous system increases and increases the blood pressure. It also increases the heart rate and triggers the release of inflammatory cells.
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