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Alcohol - How Much Should You Drink Everyday?

Dr. M.P.S Saluja 93% (320 ratings)
MD, House Job Certificate ( SKIN & STD) , MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon  •  37 years experience
Alcohol - How Much Should You Drink Everyday?

How much alcohol can you safely drink every day? Moderate, say the experts. Alcohol abuse has serious health downsizes, but moderate drinking can actually be good for your heart. Moderate alcohol use has a few other health benefits too. Let’s see what these are.

  1. Reduces risk of developing and dying from heart disease
  2. Reduces your risk of ischemic stroke during which the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing reduction of blood flow to your brain
  3. Reduces your risk of diabetes

The link between alcohol and health is tenuous at best and the health benefits of moderate drinking are by no means certain. Also every one may not benefit from alcohol. Moderate alcohol use - Guidelines
One drink a day is considered moderate for healthy women of any age and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men younger than 65. This alcoholic drink can be:

  1. Beer: 12 ounces
  2. Wine: 5 ounces
  3. Distilled spirits : 1.5 ounces

Moderate alcohol use can be counter-productive for you, if you have risk factors for heart disease. It’s always better to take care to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a heart-healthy diet to reduce your heart attack risks.

Risks of heavy alcohol use
We know about the definition of moderate drinking, but what’s heavy drinking? It is defined as more than three drinks a day for women and men older than 65 (or more than seven drinks a week), and more than four drinks a day for men less than 65 (or more than 14 drinks a week).

Binge drinking is even worse. If you drink four or more drinks within two hours as a woman and five or more drinks within two hours as a man, it is referred to as binge drinking. Heavy drinking, including binge drinking, can increase your risk of serious health problems, like:

  1. Cancer, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus
  2. Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas
  3. Sudden death due to pre-existing cardiovascular disease
  4. Alcoholic myopathy or damage to heart muscle, which causes heart failure
  5. Stroke
  6. High blood pressure
  7. Liver disease
  8. Brain damage in fetuses

It’s best to ditch alcohol altogether. It is the healthiest thing you could ever do. The guidelines make it very clear that you shouldn’t start drinking alcohol, albeit moderately, to make your heart healthy. The best way to have a healthy heart is to eat and exercise right. However, if you are an occasional drinker, you could make sure that your alcohol intake is within limits and you drink moderately at all times so that you don’t attract any health penalties associated with heavy alcohol use. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.

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