Alcohol - is it good for you or bad for you? Does it protect your heart or endanger it? Well, the answer to those questions require more than just a simple "yes" or "no". The overwhelming consensus is that alcohol, one or two drinks per day, is heart-protective. And since heart disease is the number one killer of us males, this has often put alcohol center stage as a healthy addition to a fit lifestyle.
How does it do its cardiovascular magic? Alcohol, again in doses of one or two drinks per day, raises HDL levels,  which is cardioprotective and can even stimulate erection-producing Nitric Oxide. It also seems to stabilize arterial plaques and somewhat reduce their formation as well.  Alcohol, in moderation of course, also thins the blood and reduces clotting and, of course, it is clotting that can contribute to MI's (heart attacks). This also helps explain how several studies have also found that moderate alchohol consumption reduces the risk for stroke which are the results of clots. 
Alcohol has also other good properties as well. Red wine, for example, has been found to be significantly protective of Prostate Cancer. A 2010 study found that moderate drinking was able to significantly protect the brain.  Other cross-gender studies have shown the same thing.  
So moderate alcohol consumption is a no-brainer, right? As is often the case, the story is much more complex. Alcohol produces toxins and carcinogens, increases the risk for certain cancers and lowers levels of many critical nutrients and antioxidants.
The truth is that there is an alternative: a Low Fat Diet. A Low Fat Diet, such as the Ornish Diet, is so heart protective that it actually reverses arterial plaque. As I have pointed out, cultures and people that have maintained cholesterol below 150 for a substantial portion of their life have virtually no heart disease. In addition, Low Fat Diet also looks very protective against prostate cancer as well.
HANGOVER: What about if you go overboard and drink more than 1-2 drinks? It turns out that there is some research showing which foods are actual Legitimate Hangover Aids and Cures.
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