It may not be a beneficial for your physical or mental well-being to get wasted frequently like on weekends, but drinking alcohol in moderation may have some substantial health effects for you. However, it is important to note that that your dosage of alcohol consumption and its benefits will depend on the body condition and type.
To quote the Dietary Guidelines for Americans on their definition of moderate alcohol consumption, it is having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. This general definition pertains to the amount of alcohol consumed on any single day and not as an average of several days of drinking.
We are all aware of the adverse effects of too much alcohol consumption, but what about its health benefits? Below are the ways showing moderate alcohol drinking may be beneficial to the health (assuming you are in your legal age to drink).
Reduces Possible Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Scholars of the School of Public Health at Harvard University learned that moderation amount of alcohol intake actually increases levels of HDL or high-density lipoprotein, otherwise known as good cholesterol, which in turn means better protection against heart illnesses.
Another benefit is its relation to better sensitivity to insulin and improvements in reduction of blood clotting. These beneficial changes help to prevent possible formation of small blood clots which may block the arteries in the brain, heart and neck, leading to tendencies of heart attacks and the more common stroke. This is applicable to men and women alike who have not experienced any cardiovascular disease.
Increases Longevity of Life
Would you believe that occasional drinking can lengthen your lifespan? Based on a study conducted by the Catholic University of Campobasso, women who drink less than two glasses a day and men who consume less than four drinks a day may lower the risk of death by about 18 percent, according to a report by Reuter. Dr. Giovanni de Gaetano of Catholic University, one of the proponents of the study, said that little amounts of alcohol preferably during meals is just the right way to consume alcohol.
The Mediterranean diet is the ideal program that observes moderate drinking of alcohol, especially wine, only during lunch or dinner, but nothing more than that for the rest of the day.
It has been found out in recent research studies that moderate alcohol consumption may possibly prevent erectile dysfunction among men in the same way that a glass of red wine a day may also be beneficial to the heart. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that cases of erectile dysfunction were down to 25 to 30 percent among men who drink alcohol in moderation.
Helps Prevent Against Common Cold
While it has been known that smoking increases the likelihood of catching common cold, moderate alcohol drinking is known to reduce the cases of common cold for nonsmokers.
This is based on the 1993 study conducted with 391 adults. Research also noted that drinking an average of eight to 14 glasses of wine every week, red wine above all, shows a 60 percent decrease of chances of developing a common cold. This may be attributed to the antioxidant properties present in wine.
Lowers the Risk of Developing Dementia
According to a study reported in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment involving 365,000 participants since 1977, individuals who drink moderately are 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or similar forms of dementia.
In fact, small amounts of alcohol may increase brain cell growth because the presence of alcohol in moderate amounts makes the cells stronger to cope with major stresses, possibly leading to dementia.
Decreases the Risk of Gallstone Growth
If you are limiting your drink to two units of alcohol per day, you are actually lessening the chance of growing gallstones by one-third. This is according to the study conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia. But it is always a word of caution for alcohol drinkers to go slow and in moderation, and keep it that way to reap the health benefits of alcohol.
Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
Then again, a glass or two of alcohol a day can help prevent chances of developing type 2 diabetes, as compared to those who never drink at all. Just make sure that you are not sticking to cocktails as your choice for moderate drinking because these drink mixes contain artificial sugar blended with alcohol.
These findings are scientifically proven based on studies and research, so if you are to drink alcohol, the key is consistency in drinking in moderation. Enjoy your glass of Johnnie Walker or Remy Martin while taking small sips. But if you have not started drinking at all, it’s also better to keep it that way.