Author: Gary Jackson

Even a Little Alcohol Can Harm Your Health, Research Shows The New York Times

Although it is well established that alcohol can cause
cancer, this fact is still not widely known to the public in most countries. In addition, enforcing drink driving countermeasures and securing access to screening, brief interventions, and treatment are effective and ethically sound interventions. The most cost-effective interventions are at the focus of WHO-led SAFER initiative aimed at providing support for Member States in reducing the harmful use of alcohol. Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of context, frequency of alcohol consumption and amount consumed per occasion increase the risk of the wide range of health and social harms. The risks increase largely in a dose-dependent manner with the volume of alcohol consumed and with frequency of drinking, and exponentially with the amount consumed on a single occasion.

  • Conversely, drinking moderately has been linked to a reduced risk of dementia — especially in older adults (16, 17, 18).
  • That’s because women tend to be lighter than men and tend to have lower lean body mass, which determines how alcohol is distributed in the body and its concentration in the brain.
  • These are more than just interesting questions for researchers to study.
  • Ethanol reduces communication between brain cells — a short-term effect responsible for many of the symptoms of being drunk.

Drinking small amounts — especially of red wine — is linked to various health benefits. Red wine may be one of the healthiest alcoholic beverages, probably due to its high concentration of antioxidants. Chronic alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on your body and brain, increasing your risk of many diseases. If you are a heavy drinker, following a healthy diet and exercise routine will still be beneficial for your health, but not as much as getting your alcohol consumption under control, or abstaining completely. For example, it can cause liver damage — including cirrhosis — brain damage, heart failure, diabetes, cancer and susceptibility to infections (9, 54, 58, 72, 73, 74). Alcohol dependence is one of the main causes of alcohol abuse and disability in the US and a strong risk factor for various diseases (70).

Risk of death

Between 15% and 25% of white people carry a genetic risk for alcohol abuse, showing a greater response to alcohol, Streem said. On the flip side, there is some social benefit to relaxing and having a drink – as long as people can control their consumption, said Eric Rimm, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. When it comes to alcohol, if you don’t drink, don’t start for health reasons. Heavy drinking also has been linked to intentional injuries, such as suicide, as well as accidental injury and death. Recent research makes it clear that any amount of drinking can be detrimental. Here’s why you may want to cut down on your consumption beyond Dry January.

  • For example, the definition of “one drink” in the US is 14 grams of alcohol, as found in a 12-ounce bottle of beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot glass of distilled spirits.
  • Heavy drinking also has been linked to intentional injuries, such as suicide, as well as accidental injury and death.
  • By adhering to the Dietary Guidelines, you can reduce the risk of harm to yourself or others.
  • When experts talk about the dire health consequences linked to excessive alcohol use, people often assume that it’s directed at individuals who have an alcohol use disorder.

There’s Dry January, Sober October and even a section in the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field for those who want to avoid alcohol. “To have people feel scared and deny them that drink, I think we’re doing them a disservice by freaking everybody out,” he said. It comes down to how much risk you are willing to take for that Budweiser, glass of red wine, or gin and tonic. By adhering to the Dietary Guidelines, you can reduce the risk of harm to yourself or others. For more information about alcohol and cancer, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s webpage “Alcohol and Cancer Risk” (last accessed October 21, 2021). Despite this, the question of beneficial effects of alcohol has been a contentious issue in research for years.

Is any amount of alcohol safe? It depends on your taste for risk.

Keep in mind that your cancer risk may increase — regardless of how much you are drinking. Moderate drinking is defined as at most one standard drink per day for women and at most two for men, while heavy drinking is defined as more than three drinks per day for women and four for men (80). In fact, your overall diabetes risk tends to drop with moderate alcohol consumption. However, when it comes to heavy drinking and binge drinking, your risk rises (53, 54, 55, 56). All the experts agree that heavy drinking – more than one drink a day for women and two for men – presents serious health risks.

Is alcohol unhealthy