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Happy St. Patrick’s Day — now drink up!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this week, and if you like to celebrate the old-fashioned way — with a pint of Guinness to go with your corned beef — I’ve got some great news for you today.

Go ahead and knock one back… it’s good for you!

When it comes to the benefits of booze, red wine gets all the positive press, while beer gets cast off like the black sheep of the booze family.

But the latest research confirms that ANY booze at all is good you in moderation, offering big-time protection to your heart.

That’s right my friend… whether it’s an Irish stout or an Irish whisky, you’ll get pretty much the same benefits as the snooty folks who won’t touch anything other than a $20 bottle of red.

And you’ll be far better off than those who won’t drink a drop of any of it, because two new studies confirm that teetotalers have a higher risk of both heart attack and heart failure.

That means NOT drinking is positively deadly!

The key, of course, is to have a habit you can enjoy without getting sloshed.

For example, three to five drinks per week — enough to let loose a little without turning into a lush — will cut your risk of heart failure by 33 percent, according to one of the new studies.

This isn’t just a number on a page. Heart failure is a stone-cold killer, sending half of the people who have it into the grave within five years. If a little liquor, beer, or wine will cut the risk of all that, I say drink up — and that’s not the only way a steady booze habit can keep you upright.

A second new study from the same team finds that each drink per week — within the limits of moderation — will cut your risk of heart attack by 28 percent.

The researchers also found that moderate booze will boost your intake of artery-protecting, heart-boosting “good” cholesterol, which could help explain at least some of that benefit.

While all booze is healthy in moderation, beer in particular does pack an extra benefit: It’s one of the single best natural sources of dietary silicon, which is needed by your body to build bone.

The paler the ale, the more silicon you’ll find inside — so if you want the biggest bone-boosting beer, go for the hoppy IPAs, lagers, and pilsners.

But really, when it comes down to it, drink what you like. You can’t really go wrong with that approach!

Booze isn’t the only “bad” habit that’s actually good for you. I’ll have the latest research on salt coming up later today.

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