Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits – Mayo Clinic

Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits

Moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, but it ‘s not risk-free .By Mayo Clinic Staff
Understanding the risks and any potential health benefits of alcohol frequently seems confusing ; that ‘s apprehensible, because the attest for moderate alcohol habit in healthy adults is n’t certain.

Researchers know amazingly little about the risks or benefits of moderate alcohol function in healthy adults. Almost all studies of life style, including diet, exercise, caffeine, and alcohol, trust on patient recall and truthful report of one ‘s habits over many years. These studies may indicate that two things may be associated with one another, but not inevitably that one causes the other. It may be that adults who are in commodity health absorb in more sociable activities and enjoy tone down amounts of alcohol, but that the alcohol has nothing to do with making them healthier .
Any potential benefits of alcohol are relatively minor and may not apply to all individuals. In fact, the latest dietary guidelines make it clear that no one should begin drinking alcohol or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits. For many people, the possible benefits do n’t outweigh the risks and avoiding alcohol is the best class .
On the other hand, if you ‘re a light to moderate drinker and you ‘re healthy, you can credibly continue to drink alcohol angstrom retentive as you do so responsibly .
here ‘s a closer search at alcohol and your health .

Defining moderate

Moderate alcohol use for goodly adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men .
Examples of one drink in include :

  • Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
  • Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)

Pros and cons of moderate alcohol use

Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits, such as :

  • Reducing your risk of developing and dying of heart disease
  • Possibly reducing your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)
  • Possibly reducing your risk of diabetes

however, eating a healthy diet and being physically active have much greater health benefits and have been more extensively studied .
Keep in mind that even moderate alcohol use is n’t risk-free. For example, even light drinkers ( those who have no more than one drink a day ) have a bantam, but veridical, increased hazard of some cancers, such as esophageal cancer. And drink and driving is never a thoroughly idea .

Risks of heavy alcohol use

While centrist alcohol use may offer some health benefits, heavy drink — including orgy drink — has no health benefits .
Heavy or bad drink is defined as more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks a workweek for women and for men older than long time 65, and more than four drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks a week for men age 65 and younger.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men .
excessive drink can increase your risk of serious health problems, including :

  • Certain cancers, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver
  • Pancreatitis
  • Sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease
  • Heart muscle damage (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) leading to heart failure
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Suicide
  • Accidental serious injury or death
  • Brain damage and other problems in an unborn child
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

When to avoid alcohol

In certain situations, the risks of alcohol may outweigh the potential health benefits. For model, check with your doctor about drinking if :

  • You’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • You’ve been diagnosed with alcoholism or alcohol addiction, or you have a strong family history of alcoholism
  • You’ve had a hemorrhagic stroke (when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures)
  • You have liver or pancreatic disease
  • You have heart failure or you’ve been told you have a weak heart
  • You take prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol

Deciding about drinking

If you do n’t drink alcohol, do n’t start because of electric potential health benefits. however, if you drink a ignite to moderate amount and you ‘re healthy, you can credibly continue a long as you drink responsibly. Be certain to check with your repair about what ‘s right for your health and base hit .

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