Conflicting stories about the benefits and dangers of alcohol appear in the newspapers so frequently; it is no wonder people feel confused about the issue. The simple answer is that alcohol can be good and bad; it’s all a question of how much you imbibe. It comes down to that old adage a little of what you fancy does you good. One to two units of alcohol a day may help protect the heart possibly by raising levels of the good cholesterol, known as HDL. Large amounts of alcohol increase the risk of stroke, weight gain and diabetes and can trigger abnormal heart rhythms. Don’t forget, the average glass of wine at about 125mls, is about one and half units and a large glass is two units. A bottle of wine with 9% alcohol by volume contains about seven to seven and half units and an 11 percent bottle between eight and nine units.