A recent US study revealed that light drinking might not be good for human health, despite the common belief that says otherwise. Carried out by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the new research analyzed data gathered from over 400,000 people aged between 18 and 85. In conclusion, the researchers say, light drinking is boosting the risks of premature death.
According to the study, published in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal, having one to two alcoholic drinks for at least four times a week, deemed safe by the current guidelines, raises the risks of premature death by more than 20% in comparison with people who drink only three times per week or less.
Many previous studies, including some conducted by the University of South California and the University of Vienna, among others, estimated that light drinking is not unhealthy and can even promote cardiovascular health, while it might also reduce risks of cancers. However, the recent study conducted by the Washington University contradicts those results.
Light Drinking Boosts Risks of Premature Death
“It used to seem like having one or two drinks per day was no big deal, and there even have been some studies suggesting it can improve health. But now we know that even the lightest daily drinkers have an increased mortality risk,” stated Dr. Sarah Hartz, the new study’s leading author.
However, the researchers found that in some cases drinking alcohol can indeed lower the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases, but since light drinking is triggering other lethal diseases, including cancer, drinking alcohol moderately is not healthy, overall.
“Consuming one or two drinks about four days per week seemed to protect against cardiovascular disease, but drinking every day eliminated those benefits. With regard to cancer risk any drinking at all was detrimental,” explained Dr. Hartz.
“A 20 percent increase in the risk of death is a much bigger deal in older people who already are at higher risk,” Hartz added. She concluded that light drinking is indeed boosting risks of premature death by triggering some deadly diseases like cancer.