Now cardiologist Dr William McCrea says he has proof that having a couple of glasses of red wine a day cut the risk of heart attack.
Dr McCrea started handing out 125ml glasses of cabernet sauvignon to patients twice a day on his rounds at Great Western Hospital in Swindon ten years ago.
Over the course of a decade, the doctor says he saw a significant reduction in patients having a second heart attack. He also found his patients were 20 per cent less likely to suffer strokes.
While his experiment has raised a few eyebrows, it's known that the antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine mops up chemicals that cause the blood clots that lead to heart disease.
"If you drink no more than two glasses it has a beneficial effect on coronary disease," says Dr McCrea. "It prevents clots from developing inside the arteries, raises good cholesterol, which is called HDL, and it causes dilatation of the arteries."
The odd tipple could be good for your eyesight, too. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found the odds of developing impaired vision were almost twice as high in people who never drank alcohol compared to those who drank occasionally.
A healthier heart and better eyesight for longer? We'll drink to that!
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