For decades, studies have suggested that moderate drinking could improve one’s health and even help them live longer. However, a recent analysis of over 100 studies covering almost five million adults has found that many of these studies were flawed, and the opposite is actually true. The study found that women’s risk of dying prematurely increases significantly once they drink 25 grams of alcohol a day, while men’s risk increases at 45 grams a day.
Analyzing the Older Studies
Additionally, the report analyzed the older observational studies and concluded that they consistently found that moderate drinkers were less likely to die of all causes, including those not related to alcohol consumption. However, these observational studies could only identify links or associations but did not prove cause and effect.
The older studies did not account for the fact that moderate drinkers had other healthy habits and advantages that abstainers did not. For example, moderate drinkers tend to be wealthier, more likely to exercise, and eat healthier diets. The new analysis corrected these errors and found that the supposed health benefits of Moderate Drinking shrink dramatically, and become non-statistically significant.
The idea that moderate drinking may be beneficial dates back to 1924 when a Johns Hopkins biologist published a graph with a J-shaped curve. In recent decades, wine, particularly red wine, has developed a reputation for having health benefits. However, newer studies have found that even moderate drinking of alcohol, including red wine, may contribute to various health problems, including cancers of the breast, esophagus, and head and neck.
In conclusion, the new analysis shows that moderate drinkers have no statistically significant advantage in longevity compared to lifelong abstainers. While Amanda Berger, vice president for science and health with the Distilled Spirits Council, still suggests that those who drink in moderation live longer than those who do not, she stresses that no one should drink alcohol to obtain potential health benefits, and some individuals should not drink at all. Guidelines about alcohol consumption issued by numerous health organizations have been amended to include the proviso that people should not drink alcohol for the express purpose of improving their health.