Research

Does moderate alcohol consumption prolong life?

Disputes between supporters of moderate consumptionalcohol and complete opponents of alcohol, do not subside. It is no secret that there are many long-livers among lovers of moderate consumption. In addition, the benefits of some alcoholic beverages in small quantities, such as dry wine, have been proven by many studies by scientists from different countries. There is even an opinion that the life expectancy of complete teetotalers is lower than those who drink alcohol in small quantities. However, scientists at the University of Greifswald in Germany argue that this is a myth that they debunked in their research. In their opinion, the causal relationship is broken in this theory. The fact is that people with serious health problems most often refuse alcohol completely. Therefore, it is not surprising that their life expectancy is lower.

German scientists concluded that a small amount of alcohol does not increase life expectancy, as previously thought.

Why the average life expectancy of obese teetotalers is lower

German scientists drew attention to the fact thatvery little is known about the factors that cause obese teetotalers to have shorter lifespans. They decided to rectify the situation with their research. Its purpose was to analyze health problems among people who have completely stopped drinking (for at least the past 12 months).

In addition, the researchers set themselvesthe task of finding out the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature mortality associated with other bad habits, such as smoking and drug use. To do this, the authors of the work collected data on more than 4,000 adults, residents of Germany, aged 18 to 64 years. All of them in the period from 1996 to 1997 answered questions about the state of health. In addition, people spoke in detail about their bad habits, including smoking, alcohol and drug use. In the period from 2017 to 2018, information was received on their life status, medical history and cause of death.

Smoking is one of the factors that increase the risk of premature mortality

Among the people surveyed, they completely refusedalcohol was 477 people, but 90% of them drank alcohol in the past. Among them, 72% had a risk of premature mortality due to at least one factor - smoking or a serious chronic illness.

In addition, the majority of teetotalers, as shown by the study, were previously big fans of alcoholic beverages, which subsequently affected their health.

Research results published in PLOSMedicine, have shown that there is no difference in life expectancy between people who do not drink alcohol and do not have risk factors for premature mortality, as well as those who drink alcohol in moderation. Moreover, according to the researchers, the risk of premature mortality was even lower in people who did not drink alcohol for a whole life than in moderate drinkers.

German scientists urge to give up any dose of alcohol, even the smallest

Thus, as mentioned above, the reasonsthe decline in life expectancy in non-drinkers is not at all related to alcohol consumption. As noted by the authors of the work, the results indicate that alcohol should not be consumed in any quantity.

For people who had other addictions such as smoking and drugs, the risk of premature death increased dramatically, regardless of alcohol consumption.

Is there any benefit to alcohol when consumed in moderation

So, if the research of German scientists is correct, andpeople who do not drink alcohol live longer, then what about previous works that proved the beneficial properties of some alcoholic beverages, for example, such as beer? It should be borne in mind that the study described above was about comparing completely healthy people. As for the benefits of alcohol, in many studies, the authors of the works studied the effect of drinks on a particular disease.

A number of previous studies have shown that drinking small amounts of beer is beneficial for the body

In addition, the authors of the work do not provide a number of importantdata such as the amount of alcohol and the frequency with which people who are classified as “moderate drinkers” drank it. The fact is that the amount of alcohol recommended by the authors of previous works is really scanty. As a rule, even people who are considered to be moderate drinkers drink alcohol in much larger quantities, which can already be harmful to their health.

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Do not forget that alcohol is poison.And, like any poison, it can have healing properties only in very small doses. In addition, the researchers do not say what kind of alcoholic drinks people consumed. Obviously, the quality of alcohol also has an impact on life expectancy.