Medical

Scientists found out what dose of alcohol reduces life

Scientists found out what dose of alcohol reduces life

The research found that people who reported weekly drinking of 100-200g, 200-350g or more than 350g had an estimated lower life expectancy at age 40 years of approximately 6 months, 1-2 years, or 4-5 years, respectively.

But alcohol consumption, even at that allegedly moderate level, is also associated with a suite of cardiovascular problems, including stroke, aortic aneurysm, fatal hypertensive disease and heart failure.

Overall, the public health message of the study is "if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions", Wood said.

The research combined results from 83 studies conducted in 19 countries, tracking almost 600,000 people who drank alcohol.

The maximum safe limit was nearly 5 drinks per week - that meant 100g of pure alcohol, or 5 pints of 4% ABV beer, or five glasses of 13% ABV wine that measures 175ml each.

"This study provides clear evidence to support lowering the recommended limits of alcohol consumption in many countries around the world", co-author Professor Edoardo Casiglia said in the conclusion of the report. If you don't drink wine, substitute a can of beer or a shot of liquor for each glass.

Although non-fatal heart attacks were found to be slightly less likely in people who drank alcohol, this benefit would be outweighed by the increased risk of other forms of heart and circulatory diseases, including heart failure and stroke.

A spokesman for the Portman Group, the social responsibility body for alcohol producers in the United Kingdom, said: "Official statistics show that the vast majority (76%) chose not to drink or drink within guidelines, which are among the lowest in Europe". The really heaviest drinkes out there might lose as many years of life as a smoker (ten years lost), the researchers say.

"I think this is perhaps a good warning that even what they may consider to be moderate - which might be a couple of drinks a day, every day of their lives - may be too much", Blazer said. For men, the recommended maximum is three per day.

Professor Bu Yeap, a co-author from the School of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, says the study is important as it analyses data from almost 600,000 people from all over the world.

It finds that the people who consume more than one drink a day face greater risks of dying from any cause than those who drink less.

However other countries reportedly still have much higher limits than the UK. They stressed that the lower risk of non-fatal heart attack must be considered in the context of the increased risk of several other serious and often fatal cardiovascular diseases.

Of course, Victoria Taylor has a good point, saying that we should consider the guidelines as a limit, not a target!

The work of British scientists confirmed the previous study according to which the safe dose of alcohol for men and women - 112 grams of alcohol per week.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) says it is is reviewing the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol 2009.


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