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How Much Alcohol Is Safe to Drink? ‘Not Much’ May Be the Answer

So whether you raise a glass to Schaffner’s takeaway from the review paper (“don’t drink too much”) or lower it in response to Rahman’s (“don’t drink”), it’s best to imbibe responsibly, if at all. Jan. 17, 2024 – When it comes to alcohol consumption, moderation is everything. Doctors can treat it with talk therapy, medicine, or both. Learn about different treatments for alcohol use disorder.

  1. Many people drink alcohol as a personal preference, during social activities, or as a part of cultural and religious practices.
  2. But there are other drinkers, including some who are in the habit of drinking more than one or two drinks a day, who may be able to cut back or moderate their consumption and reduce their risk.
  3. [44] Those with one gene for the slow-acting enzyme and one for the faster enzyme fall in between.
  4. These calories add up — and getting more calories than you need can make it harder to stay at a healthy weight.
  5. Similarly, make sure the drinks you are counting are standard sizes (12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits).

If you have a bad day or are feeling angry, don’t reach for a drink. Maintaining moderation in drinking means starting out with a specific goal. The specific goal will depend on the individual’s particular situation.

The study is one of about 100 studies showing moderate alcohol drinkers generally have fewer cardiovascular events and succumb less often to heart disease, according to a November 13, 2016 Time Magazine article. One reason that might explain the link between moderate drinking and lower mortality risk seen in some studies, the authors said, is that light and moderate drinkers tend to be healthier than spouses of alcoholics support groups abstainers. On average, they have a better diet, exercise more often, and have better dental hygiene than people who don’t drink at all. It’s possible that the fast-acting enzyme breaks down alcohol before it can have a beneficial effect on HDL and clotting factors. Interestingly, these differences in the ADH1C gene do not influence the risk of heart disease among people who don’t drink alcohol.

People Who Shouldn’t Drink At All

Drinking alcohol is a health risk regardless of the amount. If you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to get free or low-cost help for alcohol misuse. Find a health center near you and ask about alcohol misuse screening and counseling. If you keep a lot of alcohol around, you may be tempted to go over the drinking limit you set for yourself when you’re at home. Keeping track of each drink may help you drink less overall.

Replace Alcohol

[19] Compared to those who did not change their alcohol intake, those who increased their intake by 2 or more drinks a day gained a little more than a half-pound. It was noted that calorie intake (not from alcohol) tended to increase along with alcohol intake. Alcohol blocks the absorption of folate and inactivates folate in the blood and tissues. It’s possible that this interaction may be how alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast, colon, and other cancers.

Women rarely die from heart problems, right? Ask Paula.

While there wasn’t much of a difference in risk between younger and older groups who drank moderately, younger people in the study had greater mortality risks than the older ones at high consumption levels. Moderation can allow you to feel in control and like you are making progress. Many who practice it find that they are better at understanding how much they are drinking, are able to reduce or eliminate binge drinking, and suffer fewer negative consequences from alcohol abuse. When your drinking is under control, you may have the internal bandwidth to accept the professional psychological support that can help you develop healthier ways of coping. You could also get help to better manage your emotions, address past trauma, and understand how anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties have powered your alcohol abuse. The social and psychological benefits of alcohol can’t be ignored.

Yes, it’s exciting. Just don’t look at the sun.

Learning to accept these feelings, and finding healthy ways to distract yourself from them, will also go a long way toward helping you to handle any urges to drink. Moderation management has been found most successful for those who have a problem with drinking but who do not meet the criteria and have not been diagnosed with moderate or severe alcohol use disorder. And it also addresses what many experts see as a treatment gap. In the past, it was only the people with the most severe cases of alcohol dependence who got treatment or help.

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