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† E. Why A Drink A Day May Be Good For You

Narrator: This is Science Today. Having a drink at the end of a day may do more than just soothe nerves. According to new research, alcohol has been found to increase survival rates after a heart attack by upping the production of a heart regulating substance called adenosine. Cardiologist Vince Figueredo, who led the University of California, San Francisco study, says although the benefits of red wine have been in the news a lot lately, any beverage will do.

Figueredo: The protective effect is mostly coming from the ethanol within the drink. Now, itís true that red wine does have phenolic compounds, flavinoids, that may offer some additional protection, but I think that additional protection is small and the real benefit is regular exposure to alcohol in moderate amounts.

Narrator: Moderate amounts are defined by U.S. guidelines as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Still, Figueredo says heís not condoning people start drinking to protect their hearts...

Figueredo: What our hope is, is to understand this protective effect at a cellular level and produce a medicine to mimic it.

Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.