A new study by Italian researchers from the laboratories at the Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura Giovanni Paolo II, in Campobasso, suggests that a moderate intake of beer cuts the risk of heart diseases by 31 percent. The findings, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, states that a restrained consumption of beer (say about a pint a day) is linked to good cholesterol and protects the individual against heart diseases. Researchers analyzed about 16 case studies and articles, involving more than 200,000 participants, in an effort to understand comparative risk rates between wine and beer.

According to the author, Simpna Costanzo, the risk curves for the two beverages are closely overlapping, implying that moderate and regular drinking is good for heart health.

Wine or beer is part of a lifestyle. One glass can pair with healthy foods, eaten at proper time, maybe together with family of friends. There is no place for binge drinking or any other form of heavy consumption, Costanzo wrote.

However, the author also explained that the risk increased with proportionately increasing consumption of either beverage.

We considered wine and beer separately: you first observe a reduction in cardiovascular risk with low to moderate drinking. Then, with an increasing consumption, you can see that the advantage disappears, until the risk gets higher, she said.

The results are not surprising given that a pint of beer and a glass of red wine contain roughly the same levels of alcohol, which researchers believe to be the common ingredient responsible for the reduction in heart disease risk, Andrea Giancoli, the spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, was quoted as saying in Fitness Health 101.

Alcohol in moderation can increase your HDL, your good cholesterol. The higher your HDL is, the more protected you are against heart disease, LiveScience quoted Giancoli as saying.

The researchers concluded that an optimum consumption of alcohol is good for heart health but excessive intake can worsen the situation, although several statistics are already accessible on this subject.

Also Read: Drinking Alcohol, Good for Middle-aged Women: Study