Alcohol and Impact on Lifetime

It is known that increased alcohol consumption adversely affects the body and can shorten the life span. A glass of wine at noon or at dinner has beneficial effects. At least this was the conclusion reached by those who studied this subject. But it seems that alcohol is more dangerous than thought, and its consumption should be limited.

We all enjoy drinking a glass of wine at dinner with friends; we often get to the second or third glass and at the end of the dinner we also have a drink of strength, convinced that a limited consumption of alcohol can not hurt us.

A recent study by a team of international researchers, whose results have been published in the Lancet magazine, shows that things are not exactly what we thought: alcohol is more dangerous to our health than thought.

Excess alcohol can result in cardiovascular disease, stroke or heart failure.

In the study, the team of researchers surveyed data from 83 studies in 19 countries that related to about 600,000 information that could be correlated with each other: age, gender, diseases in which participants were suffering, whether or not they had diabetes and if they smoke, but also alcohol.

Half of the participants in this study consumed more than 100 grams of alcohol per week and 8.4 per cent more than 350 grams. Experts correlated this information with the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and the mortality of those in the study group. Before presenting the results of the study, let us see what 100 grams of alcohol means: this quantity is contained in about 6 glasses of wine.

What were the results of this study? The researchers came to the conclusion that those who consume about 200-350g of alcohol a week usually (so not one exception for one year, for example) live 1-2 years less than the average does not consume alcohol or who consumes little. Who drinks more than 350 grams of alcohol per week, which would actually correspond to about 21 glasses of wine (about 3 glasses a day), lives on average four years less than those who consume little alcohol.

It seems that high alcohol consumption leads to increased blood pressure, which has a negative effect on the cardio-circulatory system. Cardiac disease or even a stroke may occur. Obviously, the situation is even more dramatic if someone who consumes a lot of alcohol, is a smoker or has other illnesses.

How much alcohol can we consume without shortening our lives?

The new study shows that this quantity should be less than 100 g alcohol per week. This means about a glass of wine a day. In many countries, such as the US, Portugal, Spain or Italy, the amount of alcohol recommended as having no negative impact on health is greater than a glass of wine a day. It therefore seems necessary to revise these rules. In the United Kingdom, the recommended amount of alcohol (as a limit) is lower than in the previous countries, with a maximum of 6 glasses of wine per week for both men and women.

We will see if this study, and others that are being done today, will result in lowering the recommended drinking limits in different countries, or, on the contrary, these limits will not change.

Aside from the recommendations, it is good to drink alcohol in moderate amounts: enjoy a glass of wine, without going to the second, except in exceptional cases.

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