In the last five years, the advantages of moderate consumption have been acknowledged in the media. For those who believe that everything fun is unhealthy, This news may seem like a wish come true.
Of course, there are plenty of limitations – and these studies don’t suggest that those who are teetotalers ought to start drinking or that people who are not frequent drinkers need to start drinking more. The key word is moderation in drinking.
Research has shown, for instance, that health benefits can only occur with moderate alcohol consumption and are most beneficial when older men are drinking. Even moderate drinking isn’t recommended in women expecting or planning to become pregnant or who are not yet 21.
The most substantial evidence from a medical perspective exists to support the connection between moderate alcohol consumption and decreased risk of developing heart disease.
Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, is the principal writer of the New England Journal of Medicine study that examined the role of drinking habits as well as the development of heart diseases which found after 12 years of follow-up that men who drank drinks between 3 and 7 days per week experienced a lower risk of cardiac attacks than those who drank at least once per week.
Here, Mukamal discusses the risk and benefits of moderate drinking.
We know the reason moderate drinking can lower Heart disease risks.
Most of the advantages of alcohol rest on blood vessels and obstructions in the arteries that go to the heart and the brain. This may be related to the effects of alcohol on healthy cholesterol HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol.
Alcohol can affect HDL levels as much as other factors affect your lifestyle. Many believe that alcohol could reduce the risk of having a heart attack by acting like a blood thinner.
What are other health benefits from moderate consumption of alcohol?
Many health issues have been linked to moderate consumption of alcohol. A lower risk of diabetes has been observed in both men and women.
Studies have involved alcohol being given over several months to individuals who were not suffering from diabetes. In those studies, most of which have been conducted in women, interestingly, it looks like moderate drinking improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
It could reduce insulin levels altogether and could stop diabetes by that method.
In the last few months, we’ve been doing some research on moderate drinkers as well as Alzheimer’s disease. We examined a sample of elderly adults from the United States – the average age was the mid-70s and found a lower risk.
There have been some additional studies of slightly younger populations from Europe. These studies have consistently found that older people drinking moderately might have less risk of developing dementia. It isn’t clear what the reasons might be for this.
A portion of this could likely be because drinking is more common in social settings, and drinking and socializing could be a great way to ward off dementia.
There is also evidence to suggest that moderate drinking can help stop insidious strokes and other less obvious forms of brain injury, which we have observed over time may lead to dementia. It’s an area that needs more research.