Alcohol: How to Balance the Risks and Benefits

It feels difficult to grasp the potential health benefits of alcohol; this is understandable since the rationale for moderate alcohol consumption in healthy adults is not certain.

But if you are a mild to moderate drinker and you are healthy, you may possibly continue to drink alcohol as long as you do so modestly. You will find on, customer reviews on different alcoholic drinks. You should, however, note that the potential benefits are relatively limited and do not extend to all people, so you mustn’t drink it solely for the benefits.

The moderate intake

For healthy adults, moderate consumption of alcohol pretty much means up to one glass a day for women and up to two for men. The standard measurements for a glass of different alcoholic drinks are:

  • Beer- 12 fluid ounces
  • Wine- 5 fluid ounces
  • Distilled spirit- 1.5 fluid ounces

Consumption beyond this definition of moderate intake will lead to only the risks.

Pros of moderate alcohol use

Moderate intake of alcohol can have some health advantages, such as:

  • Reducing the chances of developing and dying of heart disease.
  • Lowering your risk of having an ischaemic stroke- a condition where an artery to the brain is blocked by a plaque, leading to a severe reduction in the flow of blood.
  • Possibly lowering your risk of developing diabetes

Proper nutrition and being physically active, however, have much greater benefits to your wellbeing and have been researched more thoroughly.

Cons of moderate alcohol use

Understand that even moderate intake of alcohol is not risk-free. Light drinkers (those who have no more than one drink a day) have a slight, but actual, elevated risk of some cancers, such as cancer of the oesophagus. And it is never a safe idea to drink and drive.

Risks of heavy alcohol use

Although mild use of alcohol can provide some health benefits, excessive drinking has no beneficial effects.

High-risk drinking is described as having more than three drinks in a day, or more than seven drinks per week for people over 65 years of age, and having more than four drinks in a day, or more than 14 drinks per week for men who are 65 years and below.

Excessive alcohol consumption will lead to an increased risk of health issues, including:

  1. Pancreatitis
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and liver
  4. Sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease
  5. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
  6. Accidental serious injury from drunkenness

Balancing the risks and benefits

This depends on how much alcohol you consume and your body physiology. If you don’t take alcohol, do not begin drinking because of the possible health benefits. If you are healthy and you drink a low or moderate volume, you’re safe and you should possibly continue as long as you drink responsibly. However, you should check what’s best about your health and wellbeing with your doctor.

If you struggle to drink in moderation, it’s best to totally ditch the habit and satisfy your wellbeing needs in other ways.