FORGET AN apple-a-day, a daily pint sounds much nicer! According to new research, a pint of beer a day could help reduce the risk of having a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease. A Pennsylvania State University study of 8O,OOO adults found the natural decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, in the body was slowed by a moderate intake of alcohol. The results showed that one or two daily servings of alcohol for a man, or up to one for a woman, was associated with a slower HDL decline than either not drinking at all, or drinking too heavily. While the trend applied to both beer and spirits, the effect was most visible for drinkers of beer. The study, which was conducted among Chinese adults, did not yield enough data on the effect of HDL decline from wine consumption to be able to draw conclusions. The findings were presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, the new research showed that moderate drinking arrested the decline in HDL as people get older more than twice as much than heavy drinking. The scientists said more studies were needed to determine whether the alcohol-HDL association applied to non-Chinese populations.