New Alcohol Guidelines Effect Longevity
If you are accustomed to having a glass of wine every day, here’s some sobering news! A large international study says adults should average no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, and that means drinking guidelines in many countries may be far too loose. The study found that people who down more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.
“What this is saying is, if you’re really concerned about your longevity, don’t have more than a drink a day,” said David Jernigan, a Johns Hopkins University alcohol researcher who was not involved in the study.
While the U.S. government currently recommends no more than seven drinks a week for women, the recommendation for men is 14 drinks. That’s because earlier studies found women are hit by the effects of alcohol at lower amounts than men for several reasons, including women weigh less than men on average and blood alcohol concentrations rise faster.
The new study estimates that 40-year-old men who drink as much as the current U.S. guidelines allow can expect to live one to two years less than men who have no more than seven drinks per week.
Offering people practical suggestions for alcohol use can be a challenge – especially if they are used to having several glasses of wine per day!. As a health consultant I try to convince a client to reduce alcohol consumption as much as possible and to offer them a plan. Try taking one sip of wine, followed by four sips of water, one sip of wine, four sips of water etc. This strategy still gives the buzz from the wine, but mitigates it’s negative effect. The body remains hydrated and the person can enjoy a glass with dinner without minimal side-effects. As an added benefit it’s nice to know that they just might live longer – if its only for six months!