Days after a study linked to the World Health Organization declared any amount of alcohol bad for health, South Korean scientists say a little is good for the heart.
‘Here we take ‘Soju’ and it is good for the heart’
In an intensive study published on Tuesday Korean medical researchers say studies condemning all amounts of alcohol as bad for health have not been representative enough.
“Most previous studies on the effects of alcohol on heart diseases were performed in Western countries hence their findings may not be applicable to non-Westerners,” says the study at Gachon University and Inha University both of South Korea.
Wine and beer
The Korean population, the report says has a distinct drinking culture with liquors different from those in Western populations.
“The most frequently consumed alcoholic beverage in Korea is ‘soju,’ a type of distilled alcohol, which contains almost zero antioxidants, some that are abundant in wine or beer,” said the study.
The work carried out last year involved 1,004 Korean participants put in three groups of abstainers, casual (moderate) drinkers and problem drinkers.
Their history on alcohol use was thoroughly investigated while undergoing extensive organ imagery, scanning and X-raying with the most modern technologies.
The results compared to abstainers and problem drinkers shows casual alcohol users had healthier cardiovascular organs.
Compared with abstinence and problematic drinking, casual drinking, the study says was associated with less severe cardiovascular organ damage.
“We observed that casual drinkers seem to be less vulnerable to subclinical organ damage at all events; thus, universal discouragement of potentially healthful drinking should be scrutinized,” says the study.
By Gatonye Gathura
The study is available here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6000-x