Update: 31-01-2024

The history of over 10,000 years or even more suggests that humans have been drinking alcohol or what you call fermented beverages for a long.

History also suggests that there have been people who have enjoyed drinking it all their life and still it did not affect their health.

And then there have been people who lost their lives just because of alcohol addiction. So, why is it that it affects some whereas it kills others? The answer is an excess of consumption.

Hence to save yourself from the damage you need to know the exact healthy level of alcohol consumption.


Is Alcohol Tonic or Poison?

Even today people argue whether alcohol is a tonic or poison. Of course, these fermented beverages have a notorious track of destroying lives.

But then, it also helps those who consume it in moderation. Rather health experts think that regular drinking is not at all bad as long as you keep it within the limit.

 Heavy drinking increases the risk of developing several types of cancers The problem arises when you exceed the moderate limit as mentioned by several health organizations.

Apart from destroying your organs, almost half the fatal accidents around the world occur due to drinking and driving.

Heavy drinking damages not only the liver and heart but if pregnant women drink alcohol regularly it can also harm the unborn child. Heavy drinking also increases the risk of developing several types of cancers including breast cancer.

Depression, fights, and crimes due to violence and instability are some of the mental problems caused due to excessive alcohol consumption. So, when consumed in excess, alcohol is poison. But when consumed in moderation, alcohol is a tonic.

                         { Also Read: Amazing Health Benefits of Red Wine }


Health Advantages of Drinking Alcohol

That may sound somewhat surprising, but yes there are certain advantages of alcohol and hence many doctors even suggest that it should be consumed as a tonic.

Moderate Alcohol Drinking Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Over 100 prospective studies conducted by various health organizations suggest that there is an inverse relationship between the risk of heart attack and moderate drinking.

Moderate drinking also reduces the risk of ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, sudden cardiac death, peripheral vascular disease, and all the cardiovascular causes leading to death by 25 to 40 percent.

The connection between moderate drinking and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease has been cited both by women and men.

Of course, this does not hold for those who already have heart disease or are at risk of suffering from heart attack, stroke, or dying of cardiovascular disease.

The benefits also do not extend to those suffering from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and existing cardiovascular disease. 

Why is Moderate Drinking Beneficial?

Researchers suggest that drinking alcohol in moderate amounts helps to increase the high-density lipoprotein or HDL/good cholesterol. HDL is known to provide greater protection to the heart and can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Moderate drinking also provides better sensitivity to improving several factors such as blood clotting that prevents blockages in arteries of the neck, brain, and heart. So, if you maintain a healthy level of alcohol consumption you have nothing to worry.

What is the Healthy Level of Alcohol Consumption?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, moderate drinking levels for men and women are:

  • 1 drink/day for women
  • 2 drinks/day for men

Drinking beyond this limit daily comes under binge drinking. According to NIAAA, binge drinking is a pattern of consuming alcohol due to which the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels in the body rise to more than 0.08/dL.

This level occurs after women consume more than 4 glasses and men consume more than 5 glasses of alcohol in two hours.
And if any woman or man drinks alcohol up to this limit at least once every month, it can be said to be binge drinking which is quite unhealthy.


Patterns of Alcohol Consumption Matters a Lot 

Apart from how much you drink alcohol, your drinking pattern also matters a lot. If you drink seven to eight drinks on Saturday and do not drink a drop the whole week does not mean that alcohol may not affect your body.

Although the weekly total of drinking one glass of alcohol a day comes to seven drinks a week, drinking your entire weekly quota in a day is not good for your health. It indicates regular but moderate consumption is the key to maintaining good health.

This beverage can serve as a tonic or health benefits only if you maintain a healthy level of alcohol consumption.
So instead of banning alcohol completely from your life, you can always enjoy a few sips in the evening. But just as with sugar and fried foods, excess consumption can affect your health badly.


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