- No amount of alcohol is good for health
- Any amount has damaging implications, intensity varies
- Previous reports of drinking in moderation trashed
- Lancet studies suggest a revision to "global medical guidance"
How much alcohol is safe to drink daily?
Research Says – No amount of alcohol is good for your overall health!
In a study published by Lancet in April 2018 on the amount of intake of alcohol considered safe for health, came up with surprising findings and declined outright the notion that moderate drinking is good for health. By definition of recommended alcohol intake per week, moderate drinking is a drink/day for females and two drinks/day for males, a glass of red wine a day was considered to be healthy with the chances of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. It is not recommended that you start drinking to prevent the onset of heart disease or diabetes but what is suggested is if you want to have a drink, the rider is – restrict yourself to moderate drinking only. Moderate drinking has been considered to be one of the ‘five low-risk lifestyle-related factors’ that could help prolong lives.
The new theory of “not drink at all than to drink a little bit” has left many unconvinced but it has been proved that the benefits hold true only if they are considered in isolation only. If all the risk factors are taken into account, then “No amount of alcohol is good for your overall health”
As per senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou “The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally,” though we have been programmed to think that moderate drinking is safe “but the evidence is the evidence.” In research spanning 26 years, it was expected and proved that heavily populated countries like China, India, and Russia led the world in the total number of alcohol-related deaths in men and women. Analysis of cause of deaths data showed that deaths related due to consumption of alcohol have been one in ten deaths (2016) for men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 globally.
These deaths involved 23 alcohol-related health issues like heart diseases, injury to self in violence, accidents, alcohol-induced cancer diseases, infection borne diseases like tuberculosis to name a few. For moderate drinkers, who consume to stay in good health, Gakidou said: “the protective effect goes away, even at low doses.” But she further added that the recommendations are meant for health policymakers who design for an entire population and not for specific individuals.
There have been counter arguments but in general, if the risks and benefits are weighed, then the results are certainly not promising for the entire population. Also, it cannot be generalized for the entire world, instead it depends upon many factors for an individual country like the rate of alcohol abuse, average consumption per person and culture. Majorly people will find it difficult to abstain from moderate drinking but from the standpoint of cancer-prevention, the best way out would be to drink the least amount of alcohol possible.