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Study: That Drink May Be Good For Your Health

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- New research suggests some big health benefits when it comes to drinking alcohol but experts warn you shouldn't overdo it.

Terrence Hewitt is enjoying a drink with friends.

"I moderately drink. I'm a social drinker, so you know I think it's good for you," said Hewitt.

New research suggests he has the right idea.

A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows light to moderate alcohol consumption may offer some protective health benefits.

"At light to moderate doses of alcohol, there was a decrease in both all-cause mortality or death, and a decrease in cardiovascular mortality or death. And at high doses of alcohol, there was increase in mortality and an increase in cancer deaths," said Cardiologist Dr. Tara Narula.

Previous studies have linked high alcohol consumption to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Doctor Narula tells patients that light to moderate means one drink per day for women and two for men.

"One of the theories is that alcohol may raise the HDL or good cholesterol, it may help to improve the health of the blood vessels, decrease clotting or break up the blood clots, improve inflammation, lower it and have anti-oxidant benefits," said Narula.

Narula doesn't recommend that non-drinkers start, but for those who enjoy an occasional drink, red wine is best. The key is moderation.

It's something Jackie Lagrega says she tries to stick with.

"Drinking in moderation is awesome for you because it relieves stress," said Lagrega.

Researchers looked at data on more than 330,000 people over more than 10 years for the study.

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