A Positive Research Article on Drinking Wine

We have all read the peer reviewed research papers about the increased consumption of wine and spirits during the pandemic. On mornings for recycling collection in my community, as I walk or job, I notice an increased number of empty wine bottles, beer cans and alcohol bottles being sent for recycling.

Articles about increased liver disease prevail. All negative articles about alcohol consumption and health until the July 27, 2021 publication in the Journal of Clinical Cardiology: Clinical Electrophysiology looking at the relationship between alcohol consumption versus beer or cider. Their study examined 400,000 adults and raised the idea” that for current consumers, drinking red or white wine could potentially be a safer alternative to other types of alcoholic beverages with respect to the development of atrial fibrillation. The study looked at adults in the United Kingdom Bio-Bank aged 40-69.

Those who consumed 1-7 glasses of wine per week had the lowest risk of developing atrial fibrillation -even lower than non-drinkers. For white wine the same risk applied until you reached extremely high levels of white wine intake. For beer and cider there was a direct relationship between the amount of product consumed and the increase in risk of atrial fibrillation.

This was an observational study and does not allow for concluding cause and effect. There are also differences in what the United Kingdom defines as a glass of wine and what other countries do. For example, in Austria one drink can contain up to 20 grams of alcohol. In the United States it contains 14 grams of alcohol while in the UK only 8 grams of alcohol.

The overall conclusion I derive from this study is that a small amount of wine, especially red wine, is probably not going to contribute to you developing atrial fibrillation. On the other hand, the definition of a drink in this article is probably far smaller than we pour at home from the bottles we open.