LONDON, July 11 (UPI) -- A new study has cast doubt on the recently accepted wisdom that a glass or two of red wine is actually good for the heart.
According to researchers, whose new study was published this week in the journal The BMJ, even a single glass of wine or beer can be damaging to the heart.
The research -- carried out by scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London and Pennsylvania University -- isn't exactly new, as in no new experiments or studies were undertaken. But scientists analyzed a total of 50 studies that looked at drinking habits and heart health, with data from more than 260,000 people.
They say the big picture from all these studies: less alcohol is the only sure way to improve and protect heart health.
Some studies have previously suggested moderate amounts of alcohol could be good for heart health.
"However, we now have evidence that some of these studies suffer from limitations that may affect the validity of their findings," said study author Juan Casas, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
"The best thing to do is to reduce consumption to reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease," said Casas. "We expect that these findings will help to simplify policymaking about alcohol consumption."