Revisiting the Benefits of Moderate Drinking

An article on Abc.net.au recently discussed the benefits of drinking alcohol in moderation, something that we have always advocated. While it’s true that excessive alcohol consumption can be extremely detrimental to your health both in the short and long term, moderate and responsible consumption can be good for your health and wellbeing.

With a lot of people vilifying alcohol in the media these days because of a few who cannot control their drinking and go out and cause a menace, it is important that we know what the limits are and adhere to them, not only for our wellbeing but also for the safety of others.

So what level of regular drinking is agreed to be harmful to our health?

According to Australian guidelines, adults shouldn’t drink more than 2 standard drinks a day because this poses an “unacceptable” risk of lifetime harm.  According to an alcohol researcher, Professor Chikritzhs from the University of WA, these are some of the effects those who abuse alcohol have to look forward to,

moderatedr_m2174787“For example, alcoholic liver cirrhosis, alcohol dependence and a range of cancers, including breast cancer, are all longer-term consequences of regular ongoing exposure to alcohol,” says Chikritzhs.

Sticking to fewer than two standard drinks a day means your risk of such nasties over your lifetime is below one in 100.

“One in 100 was selected because that’s the kind of benchmark by which we test water quality and other kinds of things. People often see that as an acceptable level of risk.”

It’s drinking levels below two standard drinks a day where any protective effect against heart disease, diabetes and strokes come in (for those who believe it exists).

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2014/02/20/3948645.htm

Some of the ways that alcohol is thought to impact the body in this positive way includes boosting levels of “good” fats in the blood, increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and decreasing inflammation.

Although Chikritzhs says that if your do not drink, you do not need to start drinking just so that you will live longer. For example if you suffer from heart disease and you’re a non-drinker, starting to drink alcohol won’t help you cure your heart problems.  Read more from Professor Chikritzhs http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2014/02/20/3948645.htm

Some of the Benefits

Research also shows that moderate consumption of alcohol can reduce the chance of having a stroke. For women who drank moderately research shows they are at a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

Experts have long advocated the consumption of beer and wine in moderation to enhance the flow of blood through the arteries and blood vessels and help reduce chances of a heart attack. An alcohol drinker will therefore be able to handle physical activities without the risk of sudden death even if there are blockages in certain parts of the cardiovascular system. Amazingly alcohol also discourages the development of gallstones. This is because the presence of alcohol in a person’s body reduces the tendency of cholesterol to accumulate in the bile.

But just as beneficial as drinking in moderation can be, drinking in excess and binge drinking can have the adverse effect and be extremely dangerous to your health as well as place you in immediate danger. Stick to the rule of no more than 2 drinks a day and avoid drinking on a daily basis to protect your health and stay safe.

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