The same can't be said for spirits: drinking gin or brandy, for instance, increases the risk of dying from cancer by 50 per cent in women who are 'frequent' imbibers, which is defined as drinking spirits more than twice or so a month.
And the jury's out on wine: there wasn't enough evidence to confirm that wine is, indeed, the healthiest of the alcoholic drinks, say researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden.
They tracked the health and lifestyle habits of around 1,500 women for almost 50 years, during which time 185 women had a heart attack, 162 suffered a stroke, 160 developed diabetes and 345 had cancer.
The biggest association was between cancer and drinking spirits, but, surprisingly, beer seemed to have a protective effect when it came to heart attack. Women who drank beer once or twice a week were 30 per cent less likely to suffer an attack than women who drank beer less frequently, or not at all.
But the researchers weren't able to confirm that wine has a protective effect.
(Source: Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 2015; doi: 10.3109/02813432.2015.1067515)