To drink for your health or not to? Know the latest news:

November 27, 2012

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To drink for your health or not to? Here's the latest news on the risks and benefits of alcohol:

The good
It strengthens your bones, says a new study from Oregon State University.

It fights heart disease. A glass a day in midlife is linked to a lower rate of heart disease and cognitive decline in old age.

The bad
It can raise breast cancer risk. In a review of studies, women who had a drink a day had a 4 percent increase in risk over those who didn't drink.

It's harmful in excess. Drinking more than a glass a day has been linked to a range of problems, including weight gain and even liver damage.

The bottom line
"A drink a day can be beneficial," says Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, director of the Center for Women's Health at New York--Presbyterian Hospital. "If you're concerned about your breast cancer risk, you don't need to cut out alcohol altogether, but aim for a drink every other day or less."

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