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You're at a restaurant with friends and the question comes up before you've even had a chance to look over the menu: drinks, anyone? If you have multiple sclerosis, you may want to think it through before you say, "yes." If you ask experts whether alcohol and MS mix, the answer is, "it's complicated." Like a lot of things in life, there are some pros and cons to the issue.
Why It May Be OK
One potential benefit of alcohol is the possibility that moderate amounts may be good for heart health. Why is that important if you've got MS?
"There is some data that MS patients are a little more likely to have cardiovascular disease than the general population," says Anthony Reder, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Chicago Medicine, "so it might be beneficial for MS patients to drink in moderation."
How much is moderate? The government's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" says it's one drink a day if you're a woman and up to two drinks a day if you're a man.