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HomeHEALTHNo healthier than having one or two drinks a day: Study -Health

No healthier than having one or two drinks a day: Study -Health

Is having a glass of red wine with dinner healthier than abstaining? This is a common belief, but without a strong scientific basis, according to one New analysis.

Researchers at the University of Victoria pooled the results of 107 studies involving more than 4.8 million participants and determined that, compared to lifelong nondrinkers, those who drank moderately – drinking less than 25 grams of alcohol, or less than two drinks per day – There is a lower mortality risk.

Tim Stockwell, co-author of the analysis and researcher at the University of Victoria, said the “evidence for the health benefits of moderate drinking has become progressively weaker”.

“We just have to be very skeptical of scientific evidence or scientific studies that suggest there are health benefits,” Stockwell added.

Dr. Noel LoConte, an oncologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who was not involved in the study, said he often sees patients who believe a drink or two might be good for them.

“The number one thing I get for pushback is, ‘Well, maybe a little bit of wine helps your heart disease risk,'” he said. But from his perspective, LoConte added, Stockwell’s analysis “helps us clearly define that alcohol probably has no health benefits.”

However, the new analysis found an increased risk of death in people who drank 45 or more grams of alcohol per day – about three or more drinks.

The results also suggest that the risks associated with drinking depend on a person’s gender. Women who drank two or more drinks a day had an increased risk of death compared to women who never drank. Meanwhile, men who drank three or more drinks per day had a higher risk than lifetime nondrinkers.

“Most likely, the obvious explanation is that women’s bodies process alcohol differently. Their livers are smaller on average,” says Stockwell. “However, another reason is that men, on average, drink more than women and because they have a greater tolerance to it and are metabolizing it more efficiently, this may also give the appearance of relatively less harm per unit of alcohol.”

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The glass-of-wine concept did not appear out of thin air. Some previous studies have suggested that Those who drink moderately Less likely to happen Died of heart attack or other reasons than those who abstain from alcohol or drink heavily.

Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor of health metrics science at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said her own research has shown that small amounts of alcohol reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke.

Stockwell’s analysis, Gakidu says, “definitely does not show that moderate drinking is harmful.”

One reason for the difference between the new analysis and past studies is that Stockwell and his team excluded people who had quit drinking. Because it is fairly common to stop drinking due to health problems or the use of certain medications, including such individuals in a study may skew the results and give the impression that abstinence from alcohol makes people less healthy.

“People who continue to drink appear relatively healthy,” Stockwell said.

Researchers who study the health effects of alcohol agree on at least a few things. for one, Double drinking — defined as five or more drinks on one occasion for men or at least four drinks for women — is not healthy. Second, experts generally agree that it is difficult to make public health recommendations about alcohol limits based on current evidence.

World Health Organization announced last year Any amount of alcohol is not safe for one’s health. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by recommending That, if people like to drink, men drink two or fewer drinks per day and women drink one or less per day. The CDC defines one drink as a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit such as gin or vodka.

But Stockwell and LoConte both say that when it comes to cancer, any alcohol consumption can increase your risk.

“Alcohol has been a level one carcinogen for as long as we’ve been listing carcinogens,” LoConte said. “It’s the same with smoking, UV light, hepatitis B and things like human papillomavirus or HPV.”

LoConte added that she is concerned about the recent increase in alcohol consumption among women in the U.S. Women reporting heavy drinking days — defined as consuming four or more drinks in a few hours — rose 41% from 2019 to 2020, according to a Survey From the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank.

“Alcohol use has skyrocketed since the pandemic, especially among women,” LoConte said. “We’re doing more liver transplants for alcoholic hepatitis, which is acute alcohol poisoning of the liver, than we’ve ever done.”

But Gakidou says that as a general rule, those who drink in moderation shouldn’t worry too much about health concerns.

“If you drink responsibly and you drink in moderation, I don’t think people should feel guilty about it,” he said.



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