There is always this one friend, who manages to drink unabashed in a group of teetotallers with an excuse that there are some alcoholic properties, which are good for health or that occasional drinking does no harm. To the surprise of such moderate drinkers or drink-at-every-good news-around category, a recent study says that it is nil amount of alcohol that is absolute safe for overall hale and heartiness.
Not only the occasional drinkers are in disagreement with the news, some experts are unconvinced with the conclusion too. The American Public Health officials maintained for years that drinking as a way to search better health is not right, moderate drinking, which is defined as upto two drinks for men and upto one for women, should not be harmful for the ones who have imbibed and possibly, may confer some benefits on the consumers. The standard was mentioned into the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association along with the American Cancer Society, as well as, other organisations support the theory.
Emmanuela Gakidou, a Professor at the University of Washington for Global Health and Health Metrics Sciences, in his recent paper published in The Lancet, questions the long held belief. The co-author of the recent study says that the evidence was adding up that refraining from total drinking is safe and the data presented would prove that this claim is not exaggerated.
The new research involved a review of around 700 studies that exist on the topic of global prevalence of drinking habits, as well as nearly 600 research reports related to alcohol and health. It was found after reviewing and analysing that alcohol was the most predominant factor in causing premature demise in the year 2016, having contributed to 2.8 million deaths globally. The figure includes 6.8% and 2.2% of male and female deaths respectively.
The study observed that as compared to non-drinkers, the consumers of one alcoholic beverage each day develops 0.5% higher risk of acquiring one of the twenty-three health issues attributed to alcohol including tuberculosis, road injuries and cancer in a given year. The damage at that level only equals four additional deaths per 100,000 people each year, which implies that absolute increase is small in this case. On the other hand, people who prefer two drinks per day, develop 7% higher risk than teetotallers and when it comes to those having five drinks each day, the risk increases by 37%.
The paper co-authored by Gakidou talked about some petty cardiovascular pros associated with moderate drinking among women, but also mentions that the numerous ill-effects and threats in respect to health overshadows the little benefits that drinking alcohol may ensue. The author says that the protective effect at low doses is of almost no value considering the big issues like breast cancer and injuries related to road mishaps that drinking has.
The World Cancer Research Fund in its report released during May this year recommended abstaining from alcohol for cancer prevention. In 2016, the UK Government came up with a similar recommendation.
The assumption of alcohol not being that harmful also arises from the fact that there are no health warnings on the bottles of alcohol like cigarettes which are considered perilous.