We’ve heard that moderate alcohol consumption can confer some health benefits — we’ve even written about it before. Physicians and researchers have suggested that a glass of wine here or there may actually be good for your cholesterol, boost your heart health, and lower your risk of diabetes and stroke.
But it might be time to put down the merlot, because now, scientists are saying that the health benefits of moderate drinking have been over-exaggerated.
Moderate Drinking Not as Beneficial As We Thought?
A recent analyses of alcohol consumption among 53,000 adults found that past studies on the subject may have been flawed. In particular, earlier research had supported the notion that people drinking less than 2 alcoholic beverages a day would have a longer lifespan than both those who consume more and those who refrain from drinking.
But the new study author, Craig Knott from University College London, notes that previous research grouped former drinkers who don’t currently imbibe with lifelong teetotalers, then compared them to moderate drinkers. In his study, Knott placed the former drinkers in a separate category, then adjusted analyses to account for personal, social, lifestyle, and economic factors.
Knott’s new analyses found that former drinkers aren’t as healthy as the other categories, facing a higher mortality risk than those who have never drank. Because they were grouped with healthier people who had never drank, as a whole the group of current non-drinkers appeared less healthy than those who drink moderately.
These findings suggested that the positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption were inflated when former and never drinkers were grouped together.
Knott did find that there are some protective benefits to moderate alcohol consumption, but they’re very limited. Men ages 50 – 64 who drink an average of 15 – 20 drinks a week and women 65+ who drink 10 beverages a week may see minimal health benefits — but even these may be exaggerated and subject to “section bias,” the theory that health study participants are healthier than average person.
ARCpoint Labs: Alcohol Testing for Your Workplace
Employers, you may want to spread the word about these findings on health and moderate alcohol consumption. Make sure your workers know that wine isn’t the way to a healthier self; diet and exercise are key.
ARCpoint Labs nationwide can help your employees stay well. From cholesterol screening to alcohol testing, we can provide the lab testing services you need to ensure your workers are healthy! Start today — contact your ARCpoint Labs.