Aims: The aim of this review was to focus on the knowledge of the cardiovascular benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, as well as to analyze the effects of the different types of alcoholic beverages.
Methods: Systematic revision of human clinical studies and meta-analyses related to moderate alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) from 2000 to 2012.
Results: Heavy or binge alcohol consumption unquestionably leads to increased morbidity and mortality. Nevertheless, moderate alcohol consumption, especially alcoholic beverages rich in polyphenols, such as wine and beer, seems to confer cardiovascular protective effects in patients with documented CVD and even in healthy subjects.
Conclusions: In conclusion, wine and beer (but especially red wine) seem to confer greater cardiovascular protection than spirits because of their polyphenolic content. However, caution should be taken when making recommendations related to alcohol consumption.