Even little alcohol is not healthy

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Even little alcohol is unhealthy: the myth of a glass of wine is healthy

Nobody should refuse a glass of honor. A number of studies have come to this conclusion in the past and even propagated moderate alcohol consumption as protection against cardiovascular diseases.

This contrasts with a number of diseases, including some types of cancer, diseases of the liver and digestive tract, and fatal accidents that have arisen as a result of alcohol consumption. A team of scientists led by Manuela Bergmann and Heiner Boeing from the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam-Rehbrücke wanted this connection to be clarified in more detail and therefore analyzed the data from the Europe-wide "Epic Study" using different criteria.

This long-term study, which was started in Potsdam in 1994, essentially deals with the questions of how far eating habits are directly or indirectly involved in the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Among other things, data on drinking behavior was also collected.

Healthy people cope with moderate consumption The results show that people who have consumed no more than the daily recommended amount of alcohol from the age of 20 have a 9 to 14 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, but this means for the scientists by no means that moderate alcohol consumption helps protect the heart. The fact that this was only observed in participants who did not have high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, heart attack or stroke before the start of the study is often not presented in sufficient detail.

"Because we only observed this beneficial relationship in people who were healthy at the start of the study and who were never frequent drinkers in their past," explains the epidemiologist. The researchers further explain that healthy people can still drink alcohol to a normal level without any adverse effects. But alcohol is by no means the reason for health, and it also does not help prevent illnesses per se.

Small amounts of alcohol are not good for your health. Those who have been beaten often in their youth will also feel the effects of their body in old age. "Former frequent drinkers who only consumed one or two glasses of alcohol a day at the start of the study still had a significantly higher risk of death compared to people who could not get this amount of drink for life," explains Bergmann. You are 7 times more likely to die from alcohol-related causes of death. In coronary heart disease and cancer, it is still 1.2 to 1.8 times. "You don't necessarily have to imagine doing something for your health," she says. "But it doesn't hurt if everything is otherwise in balance," says Bergmann.

Moderate alcohol consumption differs between men and women. The female sex should not drink more than a glass of wine, beer or schnapps a day, whereas in men without a guilty conscience it can be two glasses. However, Bergmann does not recommend these recommendations to be seen as an occasion for drinking every day. The details are the maximum amounts at which a healthy body has no problems. A latent alcohol addiction can also arise with a permanently low alcohol consumption.

Drug report from 2013 delivers frightening figures In Germany, around 9.5 million people consume alcohol in a health-risk form and around 1.3 million people are considered alcohol-dependent, as can be seen from the Federal Government's Drug Report for 2013. In Germany alone, 74,000 people die each year from the direct and indirect consequences of their alcohol abuse. (fr)

Image: Bobby M / pixelio.de

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Video: Should You Drink a Little Alcohol EVERY DAY? Dr. Paul


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