Surprising Benefits You Can Receive From Drinking Moderately

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Consuming alcohol moderately may have some benefits such as reducing stroke or preventing heart disease. Numerous studies indicate moderate drinking can improve health and health outcomes.

Intro

There are pros and cons to just about everything from diets to smoking and even alcohol. There is a controversy surrounding alcohol consumption being good for your health and has been going on for as long as anyone can remember. Each time the subject is raised new studies appearing both negative and positive leave the argument unanswered. Today there is enough information for you to make an informed decision for yourself. Below are some the positive findings on alcohol and health benefits.

Coronary Heart Disease

Back in 1999 researchers wrote a paper that reviewed evidence that it is certainly the consumption of alcoholic beverages instead of other unrelated factors that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The researchers examined the link between alcohol consumption and coronary heart disease by meta-analysis-a systematic review of the existing literature and secondly evaluating how changes in specific risk factors affected the risk of coronary heart disease. Their results found alcohol consumption does reduce the risk of heart disease and is expected to lower the risk by 25 percent. (National Institutes of Health/Publications/arh25-4/255-261.htm)

A recent study also confirmed moderate drinking my reduce heart disease risk. Researchers found drinking alcohols according to moderate drinking guidelines were less likely to have a first episode of a range of heart and vascular diseases than those who never drank alcohol.( "Moderate Drinking May Reduce Heart Disease Risk - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.)

Diabetes

Researchers from the Netherlands conducted a meta-analysis that consisted of 19 prospective studies that involved 11,959 incident cases of type 2 diabetes in 369,862 individuals who, on average, were followed for 12 years. The researchers found that the studies suggest those who drink alcohol in moderation had a 30 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. (Diabetes Care 2005 Mar; 28(3): 719-725. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.28.3.719)

Stroke

A study in the journal Stroke set out to examine if light to moderate alcohol consumption really does reduce the risk of stroke among women. The study included 83 578 female participants of the Nurses' Health Study who were not diagnosed with heart disease and cancer at the start of the study. Participants were followed from 1980 to 2006. Participants reported their alcohol consumption at start of study updated consumption every four years. The results showed light to moderate alcohol consumption was linked to a lower risk of stroke. (https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.639435 Stroke. 2012;STROKEAHA.111.639435)

Common Cold

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, tested the hypothesis that both smoking and drinking alcohol stop host resistance to viral infections. For the study 391participants were intentionally to one of five respiratory viruses and 25 of them were given saline. The research showed smokers had a greater risk for colds compared to non-smokers due to the fact smokers are more likely to develop infections which develop to illness. When it comes to alcohol having up to three or four drinks a day was linked to a decreased risk for developing colds but the benefit only applied to non-smokers. (American journal of public health 1993 Sep;83(9):1277-83)

In another study researchers examined if consumption of wine, beer and spirits and total alcohol intake are linked with a reduced risk for the common cold. The researchers used data from a cohort study of 4,272 faculty and staff of five Spanish universities. Researchers adjusted for age, sex, and faculty/staff status. The findings suggested that the consumption of wine especially red could hold a protective effect against the common cold. Beer, spirits and total alcohol intake had no effect on rate of colds. (Am J Epidemiol (2002) 155 (9): 853-858)

Hearing Loss

The University of Wisconsin, Madison researchers set out to determine if moderate alcohol consumption is linked inversely to hearing loss. The study participants aged 43 to 84 were from a Midwestern community in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Researcher controlled for potential confounders. They found there was evidence of a modest protective association of alcohol consumption and hearing loss. The study suggested that hearing loss is not an inevitable component of the aging process. (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society2000 Oct;48(10):1273-8)

Osteoporosis

Researchers at Oregon State University examined that moderate alcohol consumption lessens bone turnover following menopause. Forty women had completed the study. The study examined bone mineral density in healthy postmenopausal women with an average age of 56 who moderately consumed alcohol daily. Results suggested that moderate alcohol consumption may slow down bone loss in postmenopausal women, (Menopause. 2012 Sep; 19(9): 10.1097/gme.0b013e31824ac071. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31824ac071)

Dementia/Cognitive Impairment

Researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine reviewed studies dating back to 1977 that included 365,000 participants and looked at the link between moderate drinking and cognition. The study found that moderate drinkers had a 23 percent less risk of developing cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s. The benefit of moderate drinking applied to all forms of dementia (dementia unspecified, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia) and to cognitive impairment (low test scores), but no significant benefit against cognitive decline (rate of decline in test scores) was found. Wine was more beneficial in comparison to beer or spirits. Heavy drinkers those who consumed more than three or five3 drinks a day was linked with a higher cognitive risk for dementia and cognitive impairment. The researchers concluded moderate alcohol consumption actually seems to reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline in older persons. (Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2011; 7 (1): 465-484 DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S23159)

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A study out of Sweden examined the association between alcohol consumption and the rate of rheumatoid arthritis in women. The study included 34,131 women born between 1914 and 1948 and followed up from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2009. During the follow-up period 197 cases of rheumatoid arthritis were identified. There was a significant decrease of 37 percent in the risk of rheumatoid arthritis among women who consumed less than four glasses a week. One standard glass of alcohol was defined as 500 ml beer, 150 ml of wine or 50 ml of liquor. Long-term alcohol consumption revealed that women who consumed over three glasses of alcohol a week in both 1987 and 1997 had a 52 percent decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (BMJ 2012;345:e4230)

Guidelines for Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Moderate alcohol consumption in healthy adults means up to one drink for women of all ages a day and for men older than 65. For men 65 and younger can have two drinks a day.
One drink includes:
Beer 12 fluid ounces
Wine 5 fluid ounces
Distilled spirits 80 proof 1.5 fluid ounces

("Alcohol: If You Drink, Keep It Moderate." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017. )

Tags

Alzheimers, Arthritis, Colds, Hearing, Heart Disorder Risk Factors Beneficial Vs Adverse, Immune System, Moderate Alcohol Consumption, Stroke

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author avatar authordeb
Author of the Love and Laughter series
Alternative Medicine Practitioner
Hypnotherapist
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Works with Media companies for interviews and articles such as Howie Mandel for Afib,

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