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Heart-Healthy Wines

Q:Are some wines more heart-friendly than others?

A: There are more effective ways of reducing heart disease risk than drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation because too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and triglycerides, impair judgment, and lead to liver damage. In some people it can lead to addiction.

Moderation means no more than one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1-1/2 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.)

Studies have shown that alcohol and grape juice may increase "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins, or HDL). The verdict is still out on the benefits of red wine as compared to other wine types because studies have produced conflicting conclusions.

Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., is director of nuclear cardiology and associate professor of clinical medicine at New York University. She's also a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.

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