Professor William Ghali, from the Institute for Population and Public Health at the University of Calgary said: “Our extensive review shows that drinking one or one to two drinks would be favourable.
“There is this potentially slippery slope, most notably with social problems and alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, but the overall mortality including cancer and accidents shows you would be better with alcohol.”
In support to Professor Ghali, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Cath Ross said: “This analysis of previous studies supports what we already know about moderate drinking reducing our risk of cardiovascular disease.
“However, drinking more than sensible amounts of alcohol does not offer any protection and can cause high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers and damage to our heart.
“If you don’t drink, this is not a reason to start. Similar results can be achieved by being physically active and eating a balanced and healthy diet.”
The researchers who looked into the benefits of alcohol suggest that it is purely down to alcohol itself rather than anything else that may be found in alcoholic drinks.
Their second study suggests that drinking up to 15g a day for women or 30g for men increased levels of good cholesterol, adiponectin and apolipoprotein, which have been linked to a healthy heart.
Researchers are urging the government to change their messages on the public health and encourage drinking alcohol in moderation.
Professor Ghali said: “There’s no doubt a public health campaign would be controversial. We need to ponder the message of how a doctor talks to a patient and how the government talks to the people.”