A Harvard doctor is recruiting patients for a federally funded study: Those assigned to the placebo group will drink Crystal Light each day. Those in the experimental arm will drink the same beverage, but with a bit of grain alcohol mixed in.
The idea is to see whether a little bit of drinking really does reduce the risk of heart disease.
Previous studies have suggested a drink a day may be good for the heart. But those studies haven’t been definitive, largely because researchers have typically asked people to describe their drinking habits, then looked for correlations between drinking and health outcomes.
The study is a pilot that’s only enrolling 40 patients, all age 55 or older and at high risk for heart disease. Researchers will look at MRIs to assess hardening of the arteries. If initial results are promising, the plan is to launch a larger study.