If you enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail every night, by gleefully displaying headlines like “One glass of wine a day lowers risk of premature death” and “Moderate drinkers live longer than those who don’t.” prize. Never drink, and occasional drinkers have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
But while the health benefits of drinking may not be so simple, the risks are difficult to ignore.
“In most cases, the risk of alcohol-related harm begins with the first drink and rises linearly from there,” says Nick Sheron, M.D., visiting professor and hepatologist at King’s College London. . “However, the unexplained reduction in mortality among those who drink less may be due to alcohol or to other factors.”
The risks of even moderate or light drinking may outweigh the supposed benefits, and in fact when it comes to health risks, there may be no safe level of alcohol consumption.
The Benefits of Liquor Are Not So Clear
For quite some time, moderate drinking, especially a nightly glass of red wine, was thought to be a healthy habit that could help you live a little longer than someone who never drank. The increased lifespan seen in light to moderate drinkers is mostly due to lower rates of heart disease and lower chances of stroke and diabetes.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and increases the risk of stroke. Diabetes increases the risk of both these conditions. So you can imagine that lowering all three of these risks would lead to a longer life expectancy than the average American.
Dana Brjazka, a researcher at the University of Washington Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation, said, “Small amounts of alcohol reduce the risk of these conditions compared to not drinking, but more drinking increases the risk. rises again.
But does that daily glass of wine deserve all the credit for extending life, or is it something else for people who drink in moderation?
Several theories about wine’s health benefits suggest that it lowers the level of inflammation. But the results of studies trying to prove this theory have been mixed, and researchers need to explore other possible reasons for the link between moderate drinking and better health.
“Low-risk drinkers tend to be socioeconomically wealthier. [than nondrinkers or heavy drinkers]and as a result, their health will also improve,” Sherron says.
Yes, wealth tends to lower the risk of chronic disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Wealthy people are less likely to smoke and tend to live longer. People with more money have better access to health care.