Drinks a Week? US Alcohol Guidelines Should Be Lowered, Study Says
Drinks a Week? US Alcohol Guidelines Should Be Lowered, Study Says
Health study says Ireland's weekly drinking limit should be 5 pints, not 8.5
14 April, 2018, 14:43
Estimates show that a person who drinks around 7 to 14 cans of beer per week with each can being around 1.4 standard drink, the risk of death rises by 5 percent compared to those who drank lesser.
Researchers looked at 83 studies involving 600,000 people from 19 high-income countries, with nearly half of data coming from the UK.
In one of the largest worldwide alcohol consumption studies, the researchers noted that taking over six glasses of wine or six cans of beer per week can reduce years of life. United Kingdom has lower limits and same levels for both men and women. (For women, US guidelines fall within these recommended amounts, at no more than 98 grams a week.) In Canada, guidelines recommend no more than 136 grams (4.8 ounces) per week for women, and no more than 204 grams (7 ounces) per week for men.
Professor Bu Yeap, a co-author from the School of Medicine at the University of Western Australia, says the study is important as it analyses data from almost 600,000 people from all over the world. Research that rolls together previous studies can be problematic if they aren't similar enough, though this one appears to have done a good job at overcoming that obstacle and combining comparable data, Jernigan said.
Most of the coverage was accurate, although the i chose to focus on the fact that Italy, Portugal and Spain have recommended alcohol limits which are higher than the United Kingdom and describing the UK's as some of the "strictest in the world" - although it did go on to point out that the research supports these lower guidelines.
Wood and her colleagues did not find an overall health benefit. The shocking findings challenge the widely held belief that moderate drinking is beneficial to heart health.
The common explanation is that alcohol can boost high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol, which can be protective against arterial blockages.
However, higher levels of alcohol were also linked to a lower risk of heart attack, or myocardial infarction. Shawn Freeman, visiting from St. Louis, said other things influence how much he drinks, like his mood and whether he'll be driving.
Alcohol consumption is also associated with higher risks of several types of cancer, including breast cancer. This new study shows that it isn't.
"It's a very impressive study", said Aaron White, senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health.
The study found that people who down more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.
However, industry figures have rallied against the study, claiming that it overlooks the "mental and social benefits" of sensible alcohol consumption. "The effects are influenced by a wide range of factors, like body weight and sex, medications, rate of consumption, so it's very hard to arrive at one single threshold below which everybody's going to be safe from harm".
Some experts even believe drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can be as damaging to your health as smoking.
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