London: Here's good news for those who drink alcohol in moderation - consuming two or three glasses of wine a week could cut the risk of asthma, an eight-year-long study has claimed.
   
Researchers at the Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, found that those who drink in moderation are less likely to develop the condition than teetotallers.
   
However, they also discovered that heavy drinkers – or those taking on four or more units each day - faced slightly an increased risk.
   
For their study, the researchers studied nearly 40,000 people aged between 12 and 41 for eight years.   

They found that more than 6 percent of those who rarely drank developed asthma within that period, followed by about 4.5 percent of the heavy drinkers.
   
Those who stayed within six units a week - the equivalent of three glasses of wine or pints of beer - had the lowest risk, with less than four per cent developing asthma.
   
Study author Sofie Lieberoth, who presented the findings to the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam, said: "While excessive alcohol intake can cause health problems, the findings suggest that a moderate intake can reduce the risk of developing asthma."
    
"By examining all the factors linked with the development of asthma, we can understand more about what causes the condition and how to prevent it."
   
Previous studies on the effect of alcohol on asthma have mixed results. While some studies reported that alcohol has a beneficial effect on asthma, many others reported a worsening of symptoms.
   
"This study is valuable as there has been very little research on whether drinking alcohol can affect how likely people are to develop asthma in the first place," said Leanne Metcalf of Asthma UK.
   
"However, it is too early to say if people should change their drinking habits based on the results of this research."    

(Agencies)