Research: can drinking alcohol also benefit health?

How healthy is alcohol

Alcohol is unhealthy - isn't it? How much can you drink without feeling guilty? Researchers have studied the influence of alcohol on the cardiovascular system and come to amazing results.

The study

The London-based Civil Service Department has conducted a large-scale study on the effects of alcohol consumption. The long-term study already recorded the health data of almost ten thousand subjects in 1988 and has been examined regularly since then. This makes the study the most resilient research currently available on the effects of alcohol on human health.

The result

A glass of red wine in the evening is better than abstinence. For example, the researchers specifically examined the influence on dementia and found that drinking alcohol from the age of 30 to 50 years can increase the risk of dementia in old age. However, the study was not adjusted for those who abstained from abstinence who were not allowed to drink alcohol due to previous illnesses and were therefore at an increased risk of dementia from the outset.

Important: If anything, only moderate consumption helps. This is defined as one to 14 alcohol units per week, with the upper limit corresponding to about one and a half bottles of wine. Wine is generally considered healthier than, for example, beer. According to the researchers, abstainers had a 45 percent increased risk of developing dementia in early retirement. However, the exact reason for this is not yet known.

It is believed that moderate alcohol consumption protects against cardio-metabolic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which in turn are considered a risk factor for dementia. That was already known before. What is new, however, is that abstinence seems to be a real risk factor for dementia. However, heavy and regular alcohol consumption increases the risk of dementia by a factor of three.


The team itself is careful with its conclusion. Study leader Dara O'Neill says of the results of her work: "Alcohol consumption disorders should be recognized as an important risk factor for all forms of dementia." The head of the British Heart Foundation, Victoria Taylor, also warns of alcohol as a preventive measure for dementia. “With moderate alcohol consumption, the advantages and disadvantages are balanced. But there are far safer ways to prevent heart disease and dementia. For example, healthy eating and regular exercise. “(Fs)

Author and source information

Video: Robert Lustig - What is Metabolic Syndrome Anyway? (January 2022).