Reports in the last two weeks have focused on some negative aspects of alcohol consumption (click on links in each paragraph for more details.)
According to one report: "Just one drink per day for women -- two for men -- could lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and subsequently cause gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea."
Another report: Consumption of 3 to 6 alcoholic drinks per week is associated with a small increase in the risk of breast cancer...However, an individual will need to weigh the modest risks of light to moderate alcohol use on breast cancer development against the beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease to make the best personal choice regarding alcohol consumption."
I thought it might be useful in light of those recent reports to review some of the reported benefits of alcohol consumption:
Most recent reports:
Women who drink 15 grams or less of alcohol a day (the equivalent of one drink of any alcoholic beverage) at midlife may be healthier when older than women who do not drink at all, who consume more than two drinks a day, or who consume four drinks or more at the one time, according to a new study.
Among 13,894 women in the Nurses' Health Study, investigators prospectively examined alcohol use assessed at midlife in relation to "successful ageing," which was defined as survival to age 70 years, not having a major chronic disease (such as coronary disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes), and having no major cognitive impairment, physical impairment, or mental health problems. Only 11% of the women met these criteria.
The results indicate that moderate drinkers, especially those consuming wine and drinking regularly, were more likely to exhibit successful ageing. For average amount consumed, the largest benefit (an increase of 28%) was among women who reported 15.1 – 30 g of alcohol per day (an average of just over 1 to 2 ½ drinks per day), when compared with non-drinkers. The frequency of drinking was especially important: in comparison with nondrinkers, women who drank only on 1 to 2 days per week had little increase in their risk of successful ageing, but those drinking on at least 5 days per week had almost a 50% greater chance of successful ageing.
Men who drink alcohol every day have a lower risk of heart disease than those who drink less frequently, suggests research in the British Medical Journal.
A new study provides further evidence that alcohol, when consumed in moderation, reduces the risk of death, and not just that due to cardiovascular disease.
Red wine again linked to slowing Alzheimer's.
Resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, red wine and peanuts, can improve blood flow in the brain by 30 per cent, thereby reducing the risk of stroke.
A study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that moderate alcohol intake (1-2 drinks/day for 3-6 days/week, depending on alcoholic content) may lead to increased quality of life and survival in older women. The study found that non-drinkers and women who rarely drank had a significantly higher risk of dying during the survey period than did women who drank moderately. Of those who survived, the women who drank the least reported the lowest health-related quality of life.
Participants who drank on average half a glass, or 1.5 ounces, of wine per day, over a long period, had a 40 percent lower rate of all-cause death and a 48 percent lower incidence of cardiovascular death, compared to the non-wine drinkers. Researchers said life expectancy was 3.8 years higher in those men who drank wine compared to those who did not drink alcoholic beverages. Life expectancy of wine users was more than two years longer than users of other alcoholic beverages.
Women who regularly enjoy an alcoholic drink or two have a significantly lower risk of having a non-fatal heart attack than women who are life-time abstainers.
Alcohol may protect against rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with three units a week exhibiting protective effects and ten units a week being more protective still.
Drinking up to half a glass of wine a day may boost life expectancy by five years—at least in men—suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
A not-to-be missed- red wine summary here.
Moderate alcohol intake offers long-term cognitive protection and reduces the risk of dementia in older adults.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests a protective effect of alcohol consumption on the risk of Alzheimer's disease, particularly in women who do not smoke.
More on red wine:
1. Drinking more than three glasses of red wine a week could cut the risk of colorectal cancer by almost 70 per cent.
2. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, extended survival rates of mice and prevented the negative effects of high-calorie diets, says a new study. The study, described by an independent expert as potentially “the breakthrough of the year”, adds to a growing body of research linking resveratrol and red wine consumption to a range of beneficial health effects, including brain and mental health, and cardiovascular health.
3. Red wine and green tea halt prostate cancer growth
4. Drink Red Wine Daily For Best Results
5. Drinking Wine Protects Skin From Radiation
6. Lose Weight With Resveratrol?
“The physiological benefits of resveratrol are currently under intensive investigation, with recent work suggesting that it could be a good candidate for the development of obesity therapies.”
7. Resveratrol Neutralizes Toxicity of Proteins Related to Alzheimer's