Dr Mosley says alcoholic drink can cut cholesterol and hypertension

This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol

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From cancer to dementia, alcohol is linked to a whole slew of unwanted health problems. Despite its detrimental effects, this drink remains one of the most popular beverages out there. The good news is that there’s one option that could not only be beneficial in small amounts but it could even lower your cholesterol and high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, according to Dr Michael Mosley.

Between a chilled glass of G&T and a pint of beer, Britons are known to enjoy a tipple from time to time.

While alcoholic drinks spell no good news for your health, one beverage seems to be the exception to this rule.

Speaking on his podcast Just One Thing, Dr Mosley said: “To mark the end of a busy week, my wife and I are going to be doing something that should protect our hearts and give our gut bacteria a boost.

“You can probably hear the sound of a wine bottle being unscrewed.”

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If you’re a fan of red wine, just the like doctor, you’ll be pleased to know that this popular drink is the only alcohol that also offers some “compelling” health benefits.

The tipple has been found to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

These two common conditions can lay the groundwork for cardiovascular problems, ranging from heart attacks to strokes.

Fortunately, enjoying red wine in moderation could help bust these culprits.

First things first, if you don’t drink alcohol at all, then the doctor doesn’t “suggest” you should start now. 

But if you already enjoy the occasional cocktail, beer or cider, it might be time to swap your go-to for a glass of red.

The reason why red wine seems to be the exception to alcohol’s harmful powers comes down to its main ingredient.

Dr Mosley invited Professor Tim Spector to get to the root of the protective effects. The professor said: “Wine comes from grapes.

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“And in the skin of the grape, there are these defence chemicals called polyphenols. 

“Red wine has three times more polyphenols say than white wine. The fermenting process itself actually increases the number of polyphenols.”

These plant goodies are exactly what has been associated with lower blood pressure, cholesterol and thus heart disease risk.

Don’t just take the expert’s word for it, as 2015 research from Israel also highlights wine’s potent powers.

Looking at 224 teetotal diabetics, the research team randomly allocated the participants to either drink a medium-sized glass of red wine, a glass of white wine, or a glass of mineral water with their dinner every night for two years.

“The empty bottles were collected afterwards to make sure they really were drinking what they had been prescribed,” Dr Mosley noted.

Interestingly, the red alcoholic drink came out on top of this beverage list, achieving “significant” improvements in the participants’ cholesterol.

The doctor added: “Choose red wine -a glass, or two – a few days a week. Doing so could benefit your gut microbiome and your heart.”

The NHS advises not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

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