Why it is (probably) NOT better for you to drink a glass of wine every night for dinner

Why it’s (probably) not better for your health to drink a glass of wine every night for your dinner than to abstain completely from voting

  • Researchers say studies highlighting the health benefits of alcohol may have been overestimated
  • The study looked at data on alcohol consumption from more than 4,000 German adults
  • Among 400 people listed as dental children, 72% had a risk factor for premature death
  • Once these were ruled out, it turned out that abstinence from alcohol did not increase death










Drinking a glass of wine for dinner every night is unlikely to avert an early death, scientists now say.

For years, a host of studies have suggested that light alcohol consumption has health benefits.

However, German academics tasked with reviewing the evidence on the subject believe the allegations are incorrect.

They say previous studies showing that children with gums have a higher risk of dying compared to moderate drinkers may have failed to consider other harmful factors such as previous alcohol abuse.

Do you drink a glass of red with dinner for health benefits?  You may want to persevere.  New research suggests that previous studies show that the health benefits of booze do not provide the full picture (stock image)

Do you drink a glass of red with dinner for health benefits? You may want to persevere. New research suggests that previous studies show that the health benefits of booze do not provide the full picture (stock image)

Academics at University Medicine Greifswald examined data from more than 4,000 adults.

Participants were interviewed about their drinking habits in the late 1990s and then followed up 20 years later.

Of the volunteers, 447 reported that they had not drunk in the last 12 months at the time they were originally interviewed.

However, nearly three-quarters reported having a risk factor known to contribute to premature death, such as smoking or ill health.

And 35 percent had a previous alcohol disorder, according to the results published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

When all these individuals were excluded in the re-analysis, there were 125 individuals who did not drink.

In the 20 years that followed, the researchers found no significant difference in the risk of dying compared with low and moderate alcohol consumption.

The NHS recommends that adults do not drink more than 14 units each week ¿it is 14 single shots of spirits or six pints of beer or one and a half bottles of wine

The NHS recommends that adults do not drink more than 14 units each week – that is 14 single shots of spirits or six pints of beer or one and a half bottles of wine

Lead author of the study Professor Ulrich John said the results indicated that there was no health benefit from drinking alcohol.

“It has long been assumed that low to moderate alcohol consumption can have positive effects on health, based on the finding that alcohol abstinence units appeared to die earlier than low to moderate drinking,” he said.

“We found that the majority of abstainers had alcohol or drug problems, risky alcohol consumption, daily tobacco smoking, or reasonably poor health in their history, i.e., factors that predict early death.”

Professor John added: “The results speak against recommendations for drinking alcohol for health reasons.”

The research is the latest in an ongoing debate about whether small amounts of alcohol are good for us or not.

In 2019, a landmark paper published in the Lancet created fears that consuming even small amounts of alcohol would likely cause changes in blood pressure and increase the risk of a stroke.

This study overturned a common theory that a regular glass of wine can actually be beneficial to heart health because of the protective antioxidants contained in the drink.

But researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have since claimed that the Lancet analysis was flawed after failing to copy the results.

The NHS recommends that men and women should not drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis.

DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK

A screening tool widely used by medical professionals is AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). The 10-question test, developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization, is considered the gold standard to help determine if anyone has problems with alcohol abuse.

The test is reproduced here with permission from WHO.

To complete it, answer each question and note the corresponding score.

YOUR SCORE:

0-7: You are in the sensible drinking area and have a low risk of alcohol related problems.

Over 8: Indicate harmful or dangerous ingestion.

8-15: Medium risk. If you drink at your current level, you risk developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).

16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own can be difficult at this level, as you may be addicted, so you may need professional help from your GP and / or a counselor.

20 and above: Possible addiction. Your drinking is already giving you problems and you can easily become addicted. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reducing your drinking. You should seek professional help to determine the level of your addiction and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.

Severe addiction may require medically assisted abstinence or detox in a hospital or specialty clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours requiring specialist treatment.

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