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How Much Alcohol Is Really OK?

2 months, 1 week ago

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Posted on Oct 07, 2017, 9 a.m.

All the good news/bad news studies about alcohol can leave you confused. But research suggests that you still need to keep moderation in mind when you raise a glass.

(HealthDay News) -- All the good news/bad news studies about alcohol can leave you confused. But research suggests that you still need to keep moderation in mind when you raise a glass.

You may have heard reports about red wine in particular, and the suggestion that it can boost health, especially heart health, because of its antioxidant resveratrol. According to a round-up of studies published in Consumer Reports, moderate amounts of red wine may confer some benefits, but any pluses rapidly change to risks for heavy drinkers.

A research review about overall alcohol consumption, published in 2016 in the journal Circulation, confirmed that the picture is rather complex -- there can be some immediate health threats from drinking any type of alcohol, even in moderate amounts.

There's little doubt that alcohol's risks increase with quantity. The World Health Organization warns that alcohol is a factor in more than 200 types of medical conditions. And about 25 percent of deaths in people aged 20 to 39 are linked to alcohol.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer calls alcohol a carcinogen, associating it with cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, liver and breast. The more you drink and the more regularly you drink over time, the higher your risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer. In the United States, alcohol use accounts for about 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths every year, researchers estimate.

Experts say that if you're not a drinker, there aren't any health-related reasons for you to start. If you do drink, it's best to stay within the guidelines for moderate drinking, though there's no 100 percent safe level.

For women, moderate means one drink a day; for men, two drinks. One drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine or a 12-ounce beer or one shot (1.5 ounces) of an 80-proof liquor.

“So this is a tough subject in that a little bit of alcohol could be, or is healthy, but how many people are capable of managing their favorite beverage vs the risk of drinking too much? I have been to many a bar and from what I have observed not many people make the case for the benefit of alcohol outweigh its risks. Alcohol is addictive, it impairs our judgment, it’s legal and socially acceptable. Being a responsible drinker at the very least is a little easier now with the advent of Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies. I agree with the author that if you aren’t currently a drinker, you should not go out of your way to start drinking,” said Dr. Ronald Klatz, President of the A4M, Oct. 5, 2017.

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

More information

The American Heart Association has more on the Circulation report about the risks and benefits of alcohol.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Dr. Ronald Klatz, DO, MD President of the A4M has 28,000 Physician Members, has trained over 150,000 Physicians, health professionals and scientists in the new specialty of Anti-aging medicine. Estimates of their patients numbering in the 100’s of millions World Wide that are living better stronger, healthier and longer lives. www.WorldHealth.net

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