Alcohol and Health: Does It Matter What You Drink?

Nov 29, 2017

(WS) - When it comes to health benefits, red wine seems to get all the praise. But it’s not that simple. Wine lovers know that moderate alcohol consumption has been linked with numerous benefits, from healthier hearts to sharper minds and even longer lives. And they should be aware of the negative outcomes associated with drinking as well. But not all beverages are created equal. The pros and cons of drinking often depend not just on whether you imbibe, but also on which type of alcohol you choose.

For three decades now, scientists, medical professionals and the media have focused on red wine in particular when discussing alcohol and possible health benefits, thanks largely to its long list of polyphenolic components, such as procyanidins, quercetin and resveratrol, all antioxidants found in grape skins.

But is the prevailing medical wisdom as simple as: Drink red wine in moderation? Do other forms of alcohol offer benefits? Here, Wine Spectator rounds up the latest scientific research to compare the various health effects of different alcoholic beverages. Read on for a breakdown of the benefits—and risks—of each.

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