Does moderate alcohol consumption extend the lifespan of healthy people?
Image thanks to tobiastoft.
What about moderate alcohol consumption—1-2 drinks a day? Now everyone agrees that both heavy alcohol consumption, and binge drinking—even if really infrequent—is bad, and that any alcohol during pregnancy is bad. But the reason moderate alcohol consumption has been such a conundrum is that if you look at the top three killers, moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of a heart attack, but increase our risk of cancers, including breast cancer, and increase our risk of one type of stroke, the bleeding kind, but decrease our risk of the other type of stroke, the clotting kind.
So what does that mean overall? 1 to 2 drinks a day for the average American, what do you think? Overall harmful, harmless, or helpful?
And the answer is healthy, for the average American, but what for a healthy person?
This new study asked the question “Who benefits most from the cardioprotective properties of alcohol consumption—health freaks or couch potatoes?” In that study “health freak” was defined as anyone who exercises 30 minutes n day, doesn’t smoke, and eats at least one serving of fruits and vegetables every day. In America, that’s a health freak.
Anyways, for those people, for people who follow a baseline of minimum healthy behaviors, what does moderate alcohol consumption do to their overall lifespan? Does it shorten the lives of healthy people? Not do anything for the lifespan of healthy people? Or does it make healthy people even healthier?
And the answer is that it doesn’t appear to do anything.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are over a thousand subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer Survival and Soy, Eating To Extend Our Lifespan, Breast Cancer and Diet, How to live longer in four easy steps, and Breast Cancer & Alcohol: How Much Is Safe?