Glass of wine a day ‘cuts chances of the most common stroke’: Moderate drinking reduces levels of a protein that produces blood clots 

A glass of wine a day can reduce the risk of the most common type of stroke by 10 per cent, researchers say.

Moderate drinking was found to help protect against the condition, in a study which the scientists admit is ‘controversial’.

A small glass of red wine, or any drink of less than 1.5 units, is thought to cut levels of a protein that forms blood clots.

A small glass or red wine, or other drinks under 1.5 units, are thought to reduce the risk of an ischaemic stroke by cutting levels of a protein that form blood clots

A small glass or red wine, or other drinks under 1.5 units, are thought to reduce the risk of an ischaemic stroke by cutting levels of a protein that form blood clots

Those who drank this amount were 10 per cent less likely to have an ischaemic stroke, where a clot cuts off oxygen and blood to the brain, forcing many sufferers to re-learn how to walk and talk.

Even up to two drinks a day, which could include almost two bottles of beer, was found by researchers in Cambridge and Sweden to cut the risk by 8 per cent.

More than 150,000 Britons a year suffer a stroke. Of these, 85 per cent are ischaemic.

The scientists, who examined 27 studies, involving more than 21,000 stroke victims, pointed out drinking heavily still raises stroke risk. But they said small amounts may improve health by increasing ‘good’ cholesterol.

The studies pointed out that drinking to excess leads to higher blood pressure, raising the risk of both strokes and cancer

The studies pointed out that drinking to excess leads to higher blood pressure, raising the risk of both strokes and cancer

Author Dr Susanna Larsson, of the Karolinska Institute near Stockholm, said: ‘Previous research has found an association between alcohol and lower levels of fibrinogen – a protein which helps the formation of blood clots.

PORRIDGE ‘LOWERED RISK IN BABY BOOMERS’ 

BABY boomers’ risk of a stroke has fallen – while it has doubled for those in their thirties and forties.

A US study suggests breakfast may be key, with those born from 1945 to 1954 more likely to have eaten oatmeal or eggs growing up. Later generations, more likely to have eaten sugary cereal, have become fatter and less healthy.

For 15 years to 2014, scientists at Rutgers University, New Jersey, found rates of ischaemic stroke more than doubled in those aged between 35-39. It doubled in the 40-44 age group.

But for baby boomers, now in their sixties, it fell by almost 20 per cent.

Author Dr Joel Swerdel said obesity was less common in this group than in those born later. The study adjusted for the fact older people are more likely to have a stroke.

‘While this may explain the association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and lower ischaemic stroke risk, the adverse effect … on blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke, may increase the risk of haemorrhagic stroke and outweigh any potential benefit.’

The review, in the journal BMC Medicine, counts one drink as 1.5 units. Anything less, such as a 125ml daily glass of wine, cut the risk of ischaemic stroke by 10 per cent.

One to two drinks a day – three units or just over two measures of gin – lowered risk by 8 per cent. Alcohol increases ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Bad cholesterol forms fatty deposits causing heart disease and stroke.

Alcohol in large amounts raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke, and can cause cancer. Scientists say more research is needed on whether different types of alcohol affect stroke risk.

But the study suggests in small amounts, and for ischaemic stroke specifically, its benefits can outweigh its harms.