The notion that a bit of imbibery is good for the heart is causing concern among physicians who fear that it will give people a new rationalization for drinking.
At the recent American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in Anaheim, Calif, William P. Castelli, MD, medical director of the Framingham Heart Study, reiterated material from his recent editorial in JAMA (242:2000, 1979): "Can you tell people to take two drinks a day and stop? I can't see telling someone to start. That person could be prone to alcoholism, and you could end up destroying his family."
Castelli echoed the concern of the AHA Nutrition Committee, which issued an advisory in October stating that "it would be premature to recommend a change in anyone's drinking habits.... Furthermore, there is no doubt that the dangers of acute or chronic excessive alcohol intake far outweigh any theoretical beneficial effect on HDL [high-density lipoprotein] cholesterol."