Thursday, September 25, 2008


By now you'll have heard that red wine in moderation helps protect against heart disease, but the healing benefits don't stop there.
If you're more of a beer drinker, take heart: studies in both the Netherlands and the Czech Replublic have found that the rich vitamin B6 cantent in beer can prevent the build-up of homocysteine, an amino acid high levels of which have been linked to heart attacted. Beer also contain polyphenols-the same things that in wine are lauded for controlling LDL cholesteral.
What if you're a spirit-drinker? Well, if you like a gin and tonic, you may want to know that the quinine in tonic water (and bitter lemon) can prevent night cramps.
In a small 2005 study, Dr Richard Coppin, a general practitioner in the UK, showed that quinine was more effective than calf-stretching exercises in preventing the condition. Of course, tonic water cantains 83mg of quinine per litre - and doctors typically prescribe 200 to 300mg of quinine to be taken each night. But its possible that smaller doeses might help too,says Dr Coppin.


Not only drinking more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day for men (2-3 for women) a health risk, but booze is high in calories too. And very high does of quinine can result in cinchonism, a cluster of symptoms including tinnitus, headache, flushing, nausea, abdominal pain and rashes.

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