Study Says No Safe Level Of Alcohol Consumption
A new study published in the journal The Lancet is claiming that the harms of alcohol greatly outweigh any potential benefits from consumption. The authors of the study found that the risk of developing health issues steadily increased with the number of alcoholic drinks consumed each day. The researchers determined that considering the risks, there is “no safe level of alcohol.”
For their research, the authors of the study reviewed data from 694 studies to create estimations on how common drinking alcohol is worldwide. The researchers also reviewed data from 592 studies to study the health risks associated with alcohol. Those studies covered 28 million people from 15 to 95 years old in 195 countries.
The researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one or more alcoholic drinks a day. Out of 100,000 non-drinkers, they found that 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem. That number increased by 4 with one drink a day, by 63 with two drinks a day, and by 338 for those who consumed five drinks per day.
Regular alcohol consumption can negatively impact the body’s organs and tissues. Alcohol dependence can lead to self-harm or violence, while binge drinking can lead to injuries or alcohol poisoning. Alcohol is associated with 2.8 million deaths worldwide each year, according to the study’s authors.
The majority of national guidelines suggest that one or two alcohol drinks per day are safe for an adult’s health. A drink was defined as the equivalent of a small glass of wine, a can or bottle of beer, or a shot of spirits. However, the report’s authors said, “Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none.”
The study was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. It was part of a wider Global Burden of Diseases study, a research project based at the university. Lead author Dr. Max Griswold says, “The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising, particularly as improved methods and analyses continue to shed light on how much alcohol contributes to global death and disability.”