Bad news for all of you winos, beer-drinkers, and hard alcohol fans–according to a sweeping, global study, absolutely NO amount of alcohol is actually good for your health.
We know, we know, it might not seem like “breaking news” to some of you, but it likely comes as a big shock to those folks who indulge in nightly red wine rituals, solely for the healthy antioxidants. And, for the taste, of course. Oh yeah, and that lovely, relaxing buzz it gives you, too.
But, we digress.
The report, which was published in The Lancet, is entitled Alcohol Abuse and Burden; it covers a whopping 195 countries (aka EVERY country in the world), over a period of 16 years, starting in 1990 and ending in 2016. Researchers decided to perform this study to confirm, once and for all, whether or not people live healthier lives if they abstain from drinking alcohol.
To go about this, the study’s authors analyzed 5-year age groups, ranging from 15-years-old to 95-years-old. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the outcome concluded that the healthiest persons studied were the ones who had a grand total of ZERO alcoholic drinks per week.
Nope, “zero” doesn’t mean 29 sober days and 1 Long Island Iced Tea-filled night of karaoke per month. And, it doesn’t mean drinking beer only during baseball season. And, unfortunately, it even doesn’t mean indulging in a pricey bottle of red wine on special occasions.
According to experts, zero means zero!
How any amount of alcohol use can negatively affect the body
Now that you’re (hopefully) fully recovered from the bad news that we just broke to you, let’s delve into the “why” behind the results of this landmark study.
First things first, when considering the research more closely, we see that, while small amounts of daily alcohol consumption don’t negatively affect massive amounts of people, the trend still is there.
For instance, researchers found that, for every 100,000 non-drinking subjects studied, 914 went on to develop a health problem that is usually related to alcohol consumption. These, of course, are an unlucky number of otherwise healthy people, but, when you change up the demographic to include those who consume one alcoholic drink per day, an average of 918 went on to develop an alcohol consumption-related health problem. That’s an extra four people, if you’re counting.
Taking it even further, for the group that drank two drinks per day, an extra 63 fell ill to alcohol-related illnesses. Ostensibly, the folks in the group that drank five drinks per day had another 338 people develop alcohol-related illnesses.
That last one is an obvious one, but the statistics just go to show you that even one–yes, one!– drink per day can hurt you in the long-term. Officials warn that people who have histories of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses in their family are even more in danger of developing the maladies if they are, in fact, drinkers.
Good stuff to keep in mind. Looks like it might be time to say ‘goodbye’ to that glass of wine.
After just ONE more sip, of course!
We’d love to hear your take on the findings of this global alcohol study. Were you surprised by the results? Do you abstain from drinking alcohol? If so, what’s your reason for doing so?