Life
According To New Study, No Amount Of Alcohol Is Healthy
Think again before having that post-work beverage.
D.G. Sciortino
08.30.18

No one has ever chugged down a whiskey, or any type of alcohol for that matter, and said: “Wow, this is great for my health.”

We all know alcohol is bad for us.

Yet, many of us, which is about one-third of all humankind, drink it anyway. But a recent study is illustrating just how bad it is for us.

sovtexas.com
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sovtexas.com

The global study published by Lancet shows that there is no “safe” level of alcohol consumption.

Which seems pretty obvious to most of us.

Test results showed that the level of alcohol consumption that minimized harm across all health outcomes was zero standard drinks per week.

The Lancet
Source:
The Lancet

“Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero,” the study concluded. “These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.”

Bernardo Zucco
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Bernardo Zucco

The study actually found that moderate drinking might protect against heart disease.

But it also found out that can lead to other negative health outcomes.

This includes a risk for cancer and injuries.

The Lancet: GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators
Source:
The Lancet: GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators

“Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increases with any amount of alcohol. The strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for heart disease in our study,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Max Griswold of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, said. “Although the health risks associated with alcohol start off being small with one drink a day, they then rise rapidly as people drink more.”

Flickr/Sina Farhat
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Flickr/Sina Farhat

The study which followed 15 to 95-year-olds who didn’t drink at all and compared them with those who had one drink a day. The people were from 195 countries and were studied between 1990 and 2016.

It found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem like cancer or suffer an injury.

That jumped up to an extra four people if one alcoholic beverage was drunk per day.

The Lancet
Source:
The Lancet

“One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day,” said study author Prof. Sonia Saxena, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practising GP.

The Lancet
Source:
The Lancet

There was 63 more developed condition within a year when they had two alcoholic drink a day and 338 for those who had five.

The one in three rate of alcohol consumption among humans is believed to be linked to nearly a tenth of all deaths in people aged. 15 to 49.

The study says that “alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.” Saxena says that those who do decide to drink should educate themselves about the risks and “take an informed risk.”

Alcohol Problems and Solutions
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Alcohol Problems and Solutions

But others suggest that living your life too cautiously might not be recommended.

“Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention. There is no safe level of driving, but the government does not recommend that people avoid driving,” Prof. David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge told BBC. “Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention.”

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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