By now, it is a familiar litany. Study after study suggests that alcohol in moderation may promote heart health and even ward off diabetes and dementia. The evidence is so plentiful that some experts consider moderate drinking — about one drink a day for women, about two for men — a central component of a healthy lifestyle.
But what if it’s all a big mistake?
For some scientists, the question will not go away. No study, these critics say, has ever proved a causal relationship between moderate drinking and lower risk of death — only that the two often go together.
Government guidelines state that men and women should not consume more than 21 or 14 alcoholic drinks each week. Yet the Million Women study reported that just one drink a week increases your risk of breast, pharynx and liver cancer.
This means that drinkers, no matter how moderate their consumption, are not fully aware of the risks or damage, as the science is not there.
In fact, many drinkers believe they are improving their health.
“It’s an absolute myth that red wine is good for you,” says Professor Valerie Beral from the University of Oxford and lead author of the Million Women study.
From the Reddy Wellness Center, Cardiologist, Dr. Kota J. Reddy, says, “Moderate drinkers of alcohol can sometimes develop an increase in appetite, but for people who drink more than what is considered a ‘safe’ intake of alcohol, the opposite occurs. In fact, alcohol causes damage to every single bodily organ and increases this risk of developing several diseases.”
It may be that moderate drinking is just something healthy people tend to do, not something that makes people healthy.
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