Study Suggest Moderate Alcohol Consumption Could Be Good For Heart Health

No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Even better, you’re still able to enjoy the experience of pouring yourself a glass at the end of a long day or with a good meal. An alcohol-free wine will also be less conspicuous than a soft drink and won’t draw attention to your non-drinking on nights out, avoiding the inevitable questions on why you’re not drinking. Alcohol can also lead to insomnia, which is a difficulty in falling and staying asleep. By drinking wine the night before and experiencing poor quality sleep, then feeling tired throughout the following day can lead to a vicious cycle. One that consists of drinking stimulants like coffee during the day to stay awake, then drinking wine as a self-medicated sedative to help fall asleep. The alcohol leads to another bad night’s sleep, and so the cycle begins again.

  • That said, the impact of red wine on liver health is complicated.
  • A great way to reduce your drinking, have alcohol-free days, yet still enjoy your favourite drinks is to exchange your normal tipple for a non-alcoholic equivalent.
  • Some studies link moderate red wine intake with reduced risk or better outcomes in cancer.
  • Not only do you save calories that you’re not consuming in the alcohol, a secondary benefit to going alcohol-free is making better choices.

If they drink heavily, then both heart disease and cancer risks go up. Studies investigating the health effects of alcohol vary in their definitions of “low,” “moderate,” and “heavy” drinking. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , moderate drinking is no more than two standard drinks per day for men and no more than one per day for women . The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism further recommends that people aged 65 and older limit their consumption of alcohol to one drink per day. Information on drinking levels as they are defined in the individual studies cited in this issue can be found in the original references. A recent successful effort in the U.S. to launch an international study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

It’s Tied To Weight Gain

However, drinking alcohol is not safe for everyone, and drinking more than a moderate amount can cause serious health problems. People should speak to their doctor about consuming alcohol safely or limiting their consumption. For many people, enjoying a glass or two of red wine each day can be part of a healthy diet. Noted that this is likely due to confounding factors, such as diet. For instance, red wine is a common addition to the Mediterranean diet, an eating pattern linked to good health and long life. However, a 2012 study stated that the aromatase inhibitors in red wine — and to a lesser extent, white wine — may reduce estrogen levels and increase testosterone in females approaching menopause.

is alcohol good for you

The main reason why alcohol remains legal in the U.S. – despite mounting evidence of the harm it can cause – is that banning it a century ago failed. Norton RN, Morgan MY. The role of alcohol in mortality and morbidity from inter-personal violence.

In fact, red wine is linked to more health benefits than any other alcoholic beverage . More than four drinks daily appear to cause a fivefold increase in your risk of mouth and throat cancer, as well as an increase in your risk of breast, colon and liver cancer . In fact — while drinking beer regularly may cause weight gain — wine consumption may cause weight loss . Intimacy helps you deal with stress, and a little alcohol may move things along. In one study, women who had one or two glasses of red wine a day said they had more desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction than those who didn’t. A drink also may help raise a man’s testosterone levels, which makes both men and women friskier.

Makes You More Social

If you are a woman with no history of alcoholism who is at moderate to high risk for heart disease, the possible benefits of a daily drink must be balanced against the small increase in risk of breast cancer. The benefits and risks of moderate drinking change over a lifetime. In general, risks exceed benefits until middle age, when cardiovascular disease begins to account for an increasingly large share of the burden of disease and death. Even though moderate drinking may be safe for many people, there are still risks. Moderate drinking can raise the risk of death from certain cancers and heart diseases. In all, making the swap to alcohol-free wine is really simple and carries with it huge health benefits. This small change in habits can reduce your risk of cancer, lower blood pressure, help with weight loss and improve sleep, along with many other benefits.

  • “We have to clarify that alcohol is, indeed, a poison. So we’re not trying to say alcohol itself is healthy,” says Megan Kober, a registered dietitian with Metabolism Makeovers.
  • “There is some evidence that modest alcohol intake has vascular properties that could be beneficial.
  • For example, beer has a high amount of carbohydrates, and some types of beer are high in calories as well.

Alcoholic beverages are classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and increase the risk of several cancer types. Alcohol as an immunosuppressant increases the risk of communicable diseases, including tuberculosis and HIV. Most consume them in moderation, meaning one or fewer standard drinks per day for women and two or fewer for men. When people frequently drink too much, their bodies start to depend on alcohol, and then their brains give them signals to want to drink most of the time. This is called having an alcohol use disorder, which is the medical term for alcoholism or being addicted to alcohol.

It’s Linked To Better Heart Health

They can also develop other long-term problems, such as liver disease. Research has also found very strong links between alcohol and cancer, even at lower levels of drinking.

Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds in plants that have been shown to help regulate metabolism, weight, and chronic disease, according to astudy published September 2018 in Frontiers in Nutrition. Keep in mind, however, that there haven’t been any peer-reviewed human studies on the health benefits of drinking dry vermouth, so it’s unclear whether this possible benefit outweighs the general risks of drinking alcohol. The relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure is noteworthy because hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke as well as for CHD. However, in many studies comparing lower levels of alcohol use with abstention, findings are mixed.

An Alternative To Booze For Anyone Looking To Lose Weight

For a 30-year-old man, the increased risk of alcohol-related accidents outweighs the possible heart-related benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. In some studies, the term “moderate drinking” refers to less than 1 drink per day, while in others it means 3-4 drinks per day. In fact, even among alcohol researchers, there’s no universally accepted standard drink definition. Exactly how modest alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other causes of death is unknown. And the big disadvantage of alcohol when it comes to weight gain is that having overweight or obesity can put you at a high risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other comorbid illnesses, according to the CDC. A September 2016 review in the ​​American Journal of Public Health​​ likewise found that people AFAB who have up to one drink per day are less likely to experience cognitive decline.

Drinking too much in a short period of time can make someone drunk and more likely to get injured – whether by falling down, crashing a car or getting into a fight. Alcohol poisoning, also known as alcohol overdose, is one instance of how excessive drinking can be deadly. is alcohol good for you Scientists have been trying to figure out whether alcoholic beverages can be good for your health for a long time, often reaching contradictory conclusions. Mäkelä K, Mustonen H. Positive and negative experiences related to drinking as a function of annual alcohol intake.

  • This is called having an alcohol use disorder, which is the medical term for alcoholism or being addicted to alcohol.
  • However, a prospective study following almost 15,000 men at four-year periods found only an increased risk of minor weight gain with higher intakes of alcohol.
  • A customer shops for alcoholic beverages at a supermarket ahead of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Istanbul, April 29, 2021.
  • “I would recommend sticking to 1-2 nights a week with your alcohol consumption.”
  • If you already drink alcohol or plan to begin, keep it moderate—no more than 2 drinks a day for men or 1 drink a day for women.
  • The study was necessarily limited, and alcohol can certainly have detrimental effects on brain functions when confused in excess.

However, there are about 95,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in this country, and the number of deaths is rising. More scientists are saying now that any amount of alcohol can harm human health. Tyas SL. Are tobacco and alcohol use related to Alzheimer’s disease? Jepson RG, Fowkes FG, Donnan PT, Housley E. Alcohol intake as a risk factor for peripheral arterial disease in the general population in the Edinburgh Artery Study. Fuchs CS, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Giovannucci EL, Manson JE, Kawachi I, Hunter DJ, Hankinson SE, Hennekens CH, Rosner B. Alcohol consumption and mortality among women.

Drinking even in the short-term increases the risk for miscarriage or stillbirth for people who are pregnant, according to the CDC. It also puts fetuses at higher risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can lead to developmental delays, learning disabilities and vision or hearing problems, per the CDC. Different types of alcohol come with a different set of potential benefits, but you’ll still want to limit yourself to no more than one or two drinks per day. People who formerly had alcohol use disorder, for example, may have already experienced brain damage to some degree compared to people who have never drank. That may in part be because drinking heavily can lead to thiamine deficiency, which can damage the memory-making centers of your brain, per the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism . Your liver metabolizes alcohol, but it can metabolize only a small amount at a time, so any excess alcohol continues to circulate throughout your body, per the CDC. Whether you’re sipping on a martini or brandy, the effects of alcohol will largely depend on the amount you take in and not so much on the type of alcohol you drink.

It Can Cause Alcohol Poisoning

A 2018 review of studies tracking nearly 600,000 people found that negative health effects of drinking begin at much lower levels than previously thought—about 3 and a half ounces of alcohol a week. When you consume alcohol beyond these amounts, your health risks increase.

is alcohol good for you

It affects levels of lipids and insulin in the blood, as well as inflammation and coagulation. This habit is known as binge drinking, per the CDC, and it’s the riskiest pattern of consumption. When you binge drink, the health effects are much like those of a heavy drinker. As mentioned above, there are pros and cons of drinking alcohol, so long as you don’t exceed one drink a day for people AFAB and up to two for people AMAB. However, the same benefit doesn’t apply to saving up all those weekday drinks and drinking six to seven drinks on one weekend night. Chronic, excessive alcohol intake can cause malnutrition, especially if your nutrient intake is already low. Here’s a breakdown of what minerals and vitamins are depleted by alcohol.

They also face a lower risk of sudden cardiac death, hypertension, stroke and all-cause mortality compared to those drinking more than one serving of alcohol daily. According to a 2018 study, modest alcohol intake, particularly wine, is linked with lower liver fibrosis in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This study defined modest alcohol intake as up to 70 grams or less than 2.5 ounces per week. One 2015 study has shown that drinking a glass of red wine with dinner “modestly decreases cardiometabolic risk” in people with type 2 diabetes and that a moderate intake of red wine is usually safe.

Common complaints include struggling to maintain an erection, erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation, according to the Mayo Clinic . Polyphenols, which provides blood vessels in your body with more protection.” She adds, “Although, you would also do well to remember that histamines are found in many food products too, from vinegar to chocolate. So keep a look out for pub snacks you consume while drinking.” Asthma UK says that switching to gin in the summer could help soothe coughs and sneezes. This is because drinks like cider and have a higher histamine content because of their unique fermentation process. So, by opting for spirits like gin, you can curb these symptoms – in a roundabout way. Most people know, as much as we would like to think otherwise, alcohol is largely not good for us.

Red Wines

The effects of drinking alcohol, which is made by fermenting the sugars found in grapes, barley, potatoes and other plants, vary according to how much someone consumes. Other factors, such as how much food people eat ahead of time or how much they weigh, also play a role. Camargo CA, Jr, Stampfer MJ, Glynn RJ, Gaziano JM, Manson JE, Goldhaber SZ, Hennekens CH. Prospective study of moderate alcohol consumption and risk of peripheral arterial disease in U.S. male physicians. Berger K, Ajani UA, Kase CS, Gaziano JM, Buring JE, Glynn RJ, Hennekens CH. Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of stroke among U.S. male physicians. There is extensive evidence indicating that people who suffer psychological distress and rely on alcohol to relieve their stress are more likely to develop alcohol abuse and dependence (Castaneda and Cushman 1989; Kessler et al. 1996, 1997).

Walter Willett, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, questions the conclusion that the cons of drinking always outweigh the pros. I have read hundreds of scientific studies over the past 3 years concerning alcohol and alcoholism. There were 515 investigators that looked at 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016. They determined that the only level of alcohol consumption for optimal health is zero drinks a day!

Those with one gene for the slow-acting enzyme and one for the faster enzyme fall in between. Alcohol blocks the absorption of folate and inactivates folate in the blood and tissues. It’s possible that this interaction may be how alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast, colon, and other cancers. Alcohol interacts in potentially dangerous ways with a variety of medications, including acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, painkillers, and sedatives.


The conclusion comes from the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, a rolling project based at the University of Washington in Seattle, which produces the most comprehensive data on the causes of illness and death in the world. However, whether alcohol can really be heart-healthy is still debated, and it’s likely better to indulge in other antioxidant-rich treats like dark chocolate. We’ve all heard about the antioxidant benefits of red wine — and research has found that whiskey can have a similar effect. Research on mice shows that consuming the agave tequila plant can increase calcium absorption and improve bone health. However, for humans, it’s doubtful that drinking tequila can actually help treat calcium deficiency or bone conditions like osteoporosis.

There was no association with folate and increased breast cancer risk among women who drank low or no alcohol daily. All of this makes the increases in alcohol sales and consumption during this last year of the pandemic especially alarming. If they drink at moderate levels—one to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women—they may actually reduce their risk for heart disease but at the same time increase their risk for cancer.

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