[Moderate alcohol drinking and coronary heart disease--what are the most prudent recommendations for the public?].Harefuah 2001; 140(7):668-71, 677H
The author reviews some epidemiological evidence for the association between moderate alcohol drinking and lower risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). The argument being that the epidemiological evidence does not necessarily mean that alcohol itself is responsible for the lower risk, and describes lifestyle factors that might have influence on the association and make alcohol's role incidental and not causal. In addition, it illustrates the reasons for the fact that the "French Paradox" cannot be explained solely by alcohol use, and emphasizes that there is no consensus to say that alcohol consumption in moderation is protective or that a certain type of alcoholic beverage is protective. However, in case alcohol has some role in the inhibition of the development of CHD, the author describes possible biological mechanisms that might suggest paths to explain the apparent protective effects of alcohol. The article deals with the balance between alcohol's beneficial and harmful effects on health and provides recommendations for the public concerning alcohol use and CHD.