As much as consumption of alcohol in excess is harmful, drinking in moderation is strangely beneficial too. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well believe it, because moderate drinking does offer some benefits for your health.
To begin with let us refresh our memory about drinking in moderation. Alcohol consumption in moderation falls within the prescribed limits of guidelines which are not more than 2 units per day for women and not more than 3 units per day for men.
It also specifies that per week consumption of should not exceed of maximum 7 drinks for women and 14 drinks for men. It also restricts one to not be in a ‘drunken state’.
Now, what could be the possible health benefits of alcohol, one might wonder. Well, read on-
Moderate consumption of alcohol is good for the heart, suggest the studies.
– It raises HDL (high density lipoproteins) levels or the good cholesterol, so to say. HDL is responsible to carry cholesterol from body tissues to liver which rids off the bile content. Thus, an increased HDL level lowers the risk of coronary artery disease.
– It assists in keeping the bad cholesterol or LDL (low density lipoproteins) in check. Increased levels of LDL are responsible for an increased risk of heart disease.
– It prevents the blockage or blood clotting thus reducing the risk of heart attack and ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur due to narrowing of arteries which carry blood to brain.
– New studies have shown that moderate consumption of alcohol could actually be helpful by reducing the risk of diabetes. It is noted that drinking wine was most beneficial in this regard as it improves the blood sugar levels.
Think of the famous ‘French paradox’, which is an observation that despite of high saturated fats dietary consumption, the rate of cardiovascular disease remains very low in France.
There has been much ado surrounding the paradox and many researches have been conducted to find the causal link between the two. Some researchers have suggested that the lower risk of cardiovascular disease is linked to higher consumption of red wine in France. The medics however remain wary of promoting alcohol consumption taking into consideration the malefic effects of excessive consumption.
The bottom line, besides the dark side of alcohol which adversely affects the health, alcohol benefits us-
– By reducing the risk of heart diseases
– Reducing the risk of ischemic stroke; and
– Reducing the risk of diabetes.
As the debate goes on about the possible beneficial and malefic effects of alcohol, one must remember not to be encouraged to ‘start’ drinking if you currently do not consume alcohol. Also, if taken in moderate doses alcohol is good for heart and circulatory system. However, it must be kept in mind that any excess is obviously bad for health both in the short and the long run which is why caution must be observed.