We’ve heard it plenty of times before: drinking vino is good for you. However, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden suggests that drinking wine will not protect everyone’s heart health.
For the study, researchers assessed the alcohol intake of 618 people with a history of coronary heart disease who were involved in a 3,614-person Swedish study designed to identify chronic diseases’ risk factors. The experts also conducted blood tests to see which participants had a particular genotype, “cholesteryl ester transfer protein polymorphism.” For unknown reasons, this genotype appears to affect how the body responds to alcohol, says lead study author Dr. Dag Thelle, professor of cardiovascular epidemiology at the University of Gothenburg.
The researchers found that the people who reported moderate drinking habits (i.e., no more than nine drinks per week) appeared to have a lower risk of heart disease than people who abstained or drank a ton. People who had the special genes and drank moderately had the lowest risk of heart disease overall meaning that the drinkers with the magical gene were much less likely to get heart disease than any of the other people in the 3,000-plus person study.
The bad news is, only about 15 percent of people are born with these special genotypes, and there’s no easy way to find out whether you have it.
The good news? Until more research is done you can still drink wine in moderation. Just cap your alcohol intake at nine drinks per week to max out on the benefits of a good buzz without jeopardizing your health. That’s not so bad, right?