Alcohol is woven into our culture in the UK – whether a way to unwind after a stressful day, or a way to socialise with friends and co-workers alike. Anything in excess can be a dangerous thing, and alcohol is no different – an addictive drug which can have toxifying effects on the mind and body.
However, a recent study has suggested that a moderate amount of alcohol taken daily could well be beneficial to your health.
The study, carried out by Monash University in Australia, surveyed 18,000 healthy people above the age of 70, and found that overall mortality risk was reduced in those who drank five to ten standard drinks per week – or about a beer or glass of wine per day. The study also found that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease was the most-reduced amongst mortality risks, indicating that alcohol may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure – and, at the very least, poses little harm if imbibed in moderation, and by otherwise healthy people.
Other Health Benefits of Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol consumption could also confer different kinds of health benefits in moderation. For example, the risk of kidney stones is though to be reduced with the occasional consumption of beer and wine, owing to the diuretic effects of alcohol increasing the frequency of your urination, thus flushing out crystals before they can grow. Wine has also been shown to decrease the risk of Alzheiner’s Disease – partially due to decreasing the risk of contributing causes like heart disease.
Of course, alcohol isn’t the only substance in alcoholic beverages that can, in certain scenarios, have medical benefits. The brewing process includes and creates other ingredients which have their own boons – as such, It is also the case that different beers can confer different kinds of benefits. For example, darker beers contain a larger amount of iron, which can help you stave off iron deficiency anaemia, while sour beers often contain lactic acid, which has numerous benefits with regard to skincare.
The Dangers of Overconsumption
However, alcohol can be a dangerous substance if consumed in larger amounts, and for consistent periods of time. It can be particularly harmful to the liver, as a toxin which can injure it in large quantities. The liver is the only organ in your body which can regenerate, but frequent and consistent damage from alcohol can cause an increase in fat deposits – and eventually scarring which reduces liver function, known as cirrhosis. Alcohol can also affect your pancreas’ functions, with excessive drinking causing chronic pancreatitis, a long-term condition that causes life-long stomach pains and digestive issues.
Wine and beer are delicious beverages with their place as a treat in our daily lives – and, while they may have some benefits, those benefits only shine in moderation. So, watch your alcohol intake and you may be able to benefit from these health boons.