Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Study raises concerns about long-term impacts of alcohol

Study reveals sobering news on how much you should be drinking Modal Trigger Shutterstock
Steve Townsend | 14 April, 2018, 11:24

"This study has shown that drinking alcohol at levels which were believed to be safe is actually linked with lower life expectancy and several adverse health outcomes", said Dr. Dan G. Blazer of Duke University, who co-authored the study.

Earlier studies had found women feel the effects of alcohol much quicker than men for numerous reasons, including the average man weighing more than the average women.

"This study confirms what we have been saying for a long time: moderate consumption of alcohol is more beneficial than not drinking at all, and while heavy drinking of course carries risks to health, those risks only increase at a level of consumption far above the current United Kingdom consumption guidelines".

The research found that drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week - equal to roughly seven standard drinks in the United States or five to six glasses of wine in the UK - increases your risk of death from all causes and in turn lowers your life expectancy.

"We should always remember that alcohol guidelines should act as a limit, not a target".

"This is a serious wakeup call for many countries", said Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which helped fund the research.

Several Australian studies were part of this collaboration, contributing to the research and making the findings relevant to Australians.

The researchers found those drinking more than five 175ml glasses of wine or pints of beer each week were at greater risk of stroke, heart failure and fatal aneurysm. That may partly be because alcohol can increase blood pressure and change cholesterol levels, the researchers said.

Consuming 10 or more drinks per week was associated with one to two fewer years of life.

Top Security Advisers of S. Korea, US to Meet on Thursday
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The researchers found that normal mice and mice genetically unable to produce FGF21 drank similar amounts of water when given the typical chow diet. Spain, Portugal and Italy, the study states, have recommended limits almost 50% higher than the 100-gram threshold. While the study did suggest 12.5 units is the threshold above which risks start to rise, the difference in risk between people drinking 12.5 and 14 units was small.

The study may mean many Americans are reaching their weekly totals in one night.

Scientists are affirmative that FGF21 might someday be used as a drug to limit alcohol consumption and protect against its effects in people.

This news isn't gonna go down well: A group of researchers has studied the drinking habits of 600,000 people to determine, once and for all, the "risk thresholds associated with the lowest risk of mortality".

However, the studies analysed were all observational studies, as it wouldn't be ethical to carry out studies where some people were encouraged to drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol.

At O'Hara's Restaurant and Pub, a watering hole in lower Manhattan, one patron shrugged off the study and its recommendation.

It's official, everyone: We're drinking too much booze and it's cutting us short of precious life.

Another patron, Jaussi Ruotsalainen, a tourist from Finland, said he rarely drinks because he has two young kids at home.

The Associated Press reported this story. The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.

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