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Moderate Drinking May Reduce Men’s Risk of Heart Disease

Last Updated: September 28, 2009.

In hypertensive men, moderate drinking may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. However, in men and women at moderate risk of heart disease, pomegranate juice appears to have no effect on the overall progression of carotid intima-media thickness, according to two studies in the Oct. 1 American Journal of Cardiology.

MONDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In hypertensive men, moderate drinking may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. However, in men and women at moderate risk of heart disease, pomegranate juice appears to have no effect on the overall progression of carotid intima-media thickness, according to two studies in the Oct. 1 American Journal of Cardiology.

Kathryn A. Britton, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed 1982 to 2008 data on 5,164 participants in the Physicians' Health Study. Compared to consumption of less than one alcoholic drink per week, their adjusted analysis showed that consumption of one to four drinks, five to seven drinks, and more than eight drinks per week was associated with a decreasing risk of myocardial infarction (hazard ratios, 1.05, 0.78, and 0.57, respectively).

Michael H. Davidson, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues randomly assigned 289 patients with more than one major coronary heart disease risk factor and a baseline posterior wall carotid intima-media thickness of 0.7 to 2.0 mm to receive either 240 ml of pomegranate juice per day or a control beverage for 18 months. Although they found no group differences in the overall carotid intima-media thickness progression rate, results suggested that pomegranate juice may slow progression in patients with increased oxidative stress and disturbances in the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein axis.

"Consumption of pomegranate juice is very safe; thus, demonstration of a benefit on atherosclerotic disease progression, even in a subset of the population, would have important public health implications," Davidson and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Britton
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Abstract - Davidson
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