A decades-long study of 84,000 women has found that women who drink alcohol on a light to moderate basis have a reduced risk of stroke, Time reports.
According to the study, published March 8, 2012, in the journal Stroke, female participants who drank about a half glass of wine per day were 17% less likely to have a stroke, compared to abstainers, while woman who drink a full glass per day reduced their risk of stroke by 21%.
Why would drinking lower stroke risk? “Alcohol has components that prevent blood clots and promote HDL (good) cholesterol,” says lead researcher Dr. Monik Jimenez. Fewer blood clots could account for fewer strokes. (And the boost in good cholesterol helps explain why moderate drinking may also lower the risk of heart disease.)