Sifting Through the Confusing Research on Alcohol

Tons of research has been done on the consumption of alcohol to pretty much no avail. People who love it want to prove it’s not only harmless it could be beneficial to health. Where those who hate alcohol want to prove it should not be consumed by anyone.

With motives like this its hard to take any study seriously. However, it’s the best we got so here’s the rundown on all newest studies.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that drinking a glass of red wine a day, significantly increases the levels of good HDL cholesterol and had a more beneficial cholesterol ratio compared to individuals who simply drank water.

Researches also noted that People who drank a glass of either red or white wine also reported better sleep quality than the group that drank water.

Another new study regarding alcohol consumption was conducted at Boston Medical Center. Researchers examined data from government statistics on cause of death and health benefits from 2006 to 2010 in the United States. The data included Alcohol-Related Disease Impact software application from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They found that the number of total deaths caused by alcohol abuse was about 35.8% nationwide. However, individuals who drank moderately between the ages of 20 to 49 experienced only a 4.5% health benefit as a group, compared to individuals 65 years of age and older.

That group ironically had a similar number of 35.0% abuse rate within this age group; however, individuals who drank moderately within this group had an astounding 80% health benefits.

When the researches examined the years of potential life lost as a result of drinking, they found 58.4% occurred in people ages 20 to 49 and only 15% after that from alcohol drinking.

In general, younger adults are more likely to die from alcohol, while older people are the ones most likely to see the benefits of moderate drinking.

However another study, this one from Penn State University suggests that the health benefits of moderate drinking may be overstated.

In this study more then 9000 middle-aged people across England, Scotland and Wales, surveyed light-to-moderate drinkers (roughly six pints of beer or six medium-sized glasses of wine, per week) could only enjoy a healthy life if they don’t smoke.

If they were former smokers or still had that occasional drag, they most likely suffered from poor health habits. Also, if they were obese or didn’t exercise, their health situation was obviously not as good as people with a normal body weight.

This result shows that the health benefits of moderate drinking are limited, and other lifestyle behaviors have to be considered.

A fourth study from the University of Cambridge shows that drinking more than 5 pints of beer a week could shorten a drinkers’ life.

This study shows that drinking alcohol is linked to high risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure, and early death.

Researches studied the drinking habits of over 600,000 people in 19 countries across the globe; a standard limit of about 5-drinks per week was used as a guide. When drinking amount was higher researches discovered that the increased intake of alcohol lowered life expectancy.

For example, having 10 or more drinks per week shortened life expectancy by one to two years. Having 18 or more drinks per week shortened life expectancy by four to five years.

By now you’ve probably seen a pattern emerging — depending on which study you read or which survey you follow the data seems to contradict one another — suggesting that other factors play a key roll in longevity.

We may not really know what affects our alcohol consumption will have on us later in life, but it’s safe to say the key here is moderation.

If you don’t have any health issues, enjoying your favorite adult beverage of choice shouldn’t be an issue just don’t over do it.


  1. JoAnn Leichliter

    Frankly, who cares? I certainly don’t. Even if you never do anything whatsoever or eat or drink anything whatsoever that isn’t good fot you, you still won’t live forever. But it will certainly seem like it..

  2. Follow the money. Medical “researchers” get money from grants. If an established researcher failed to support the interests of whoever made the grants, he or she would never get another grant. For example, if an established researcher gets a grant from Jose Cuervo to do a study on the effects of alcohol, it would show the consumption of alcohol to be incredibly good for you. If the same reseacher got a grant from Alcoholics Anonymous to do the very same study, alcohol would be a deadly poison. Researchers find out exactly what they are paid to find out, or else they don’t stay in business very long. The more prestigious the university, the more they get paid.

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