Toronto: Red wine, popularly touted as a remedy for a host of medical condtions, has no protective qualities to prevent heart disease, says a new study.

“In particular, red wine has no special, protective qualities when it relates to cardiovascular disease,” said Kathy Bell, CEO, Heart Foundation (Victoria).

“After reviewing all the scientific evidence, it appears any positive effects of alcohol in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease have been hugely overestimated.”

“The Heart Foundation does not recommend red wine or other types of alcoholic drinks to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease.”

“To reduce your lifetime risk of alcohol-related harm, you should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day,” added Bell, according to a Heart Foundation statement.

More than half of all alcohol-related deaths globally are from diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer or liver cirrhosis.

On a global scale, 545,000 people died of alcohol-related cardiovascular disease in 2004. In Australia, five percent of all cancers are caused by alcohol, including one in five breast cancers.