Alcohol consumption and its positive or negative effects on one’s health is an ongoing debate. While some believe that even Moderate drinking is harmful to the body, others have indicated that limited drinking may actually help the body and brain and keep people fitter. A new study also indicates that drinking moderately increases one’s survival chances.

How was the research conducted?

The study which was carried out by the School of Public Health at Shandong University in China, focused on more than 333,000 adults in the United States. The researchers divided these people into six categories based on their drinking habits, or lack thereof.

The categories included abstainers (who did not drink alcohol even once), rare drinkers, and even ex-drinkers who have since given up the habit. Other categories included light drinkers, who consume just three to four drinks per week, moderate drinkers, who drank more than three drinks per week but less than 14 drinks in case of men and less than 7 drinks in case of women. Lastly, there was another group of people who were heavy drinkers, which means more than 14 drinks in case of men and seven drinks in case of women per week.

LA Tokes explained that during the study period, 34,754 people died which included 8,947 deaths from cardiovascular complications, 8,427 deaths due to cancer, and other natural causes. To make the results even more accurate, scientists did not take into account those participants who died within two years of the study's commencement.

What the results showed?

The results from the Long Term study showed some of the aspects of the drinking and its effect on health. The research showed that people who drank in moderation were 20 percent less likely to die compared to the abstainers who never touched the drink. This indicates that people who drink in limited amount may have better chances of survival than the ones who do not drink at all.

However, the study results also prove that heavy drinking is exceptionally dangerous. In fact, heavy drinkers were at least 10 percent more likely to die earlier than those who did not drink. Reuters reported that the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that these binge drinkers were 20 percent more prone to get afflicted from cancer than others in the study.

Male heavy drinkers had a 25 percent increased chance of dying during the study and almost 67 percent more chance of dying from cancer than the men who did not drink.

However, being an uncontrolled long term research, the results cannot be taken as conclusive proof of the advantages of moderate drinking or the disadvantages of heavy drinking. The participants reported their daily intake of alcohol on their own, so it is possible that they may have reported incorrect amounts of drinking.

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