Alcohol May Not Be Very Harmful For Folks Aged Over 50, New Research Says

Alcohol’s reputation has been very controversial. Undeniably, excessive consumption of the beverage is harmful for the body. It is linked with several health concerns including an increased risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and damage to the nervous system.

Excessive alcohol can also increase damage to the liver. That said, its moderate consumption is still up on the debate dice. Some researchers say that a moderate intake of alcohol is good for health.

For example, a study learned that light to moderate drinking safeguarded against all-cause mortality and mortality concerned with cardiovascular diseases. However, not all researchers agree with this such as authors of the present study.

What Does The Latest Research Say?

The latest study has been published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Researchers learned that earlier studies that claim that alcohol intake in moderation is healthy have a flawed underlying mechanism.

This is mainly because studies are observational in general. Plus, they recruit participants over the age of 50. The authors think of this as problematic as it excludes people who have died due to alcohol before the age of 50.

These authors say that almost 40% of the alcohol intake-related deaths occur before 50. This means that the majority of the research into the possible risks of alcohol don’t take early deaths into account. This underestimates the real dangers.

Moreover, in their analysis, the researchers learned that 35.8% of the deaths due to alcohol occurred between the ages of 20-49 as per data obtained from Alcohol-Related Disease Impact Application, maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

When the study’s investigators studied people over the age of 65, they learned something entirely different. They noted that 35% of alcohol-related deaths occurred in this group. However, a large percentage of these deaths in this demographic, 80% to be specific, could be prevented by alcohol.

In the other group, only 4.5% of the deaths could be prevented by alcohol. This means that age significantly impacted the effect that alcohol had on a person. Owing to these findings, the researchers concluded that younger people have an increased risk of death due to alcohol consumption as compared to people aged above 50. Moreover, older people are more likely to get the health benefits of moderate drinking.

How Much Alcohol Is Safe?

According to Verywell Health, the recommended safe intake of alcohol for men stands at 2-3 units of alcohol in a day or 21 units per week. For women, the recommended safe amount of alcohol is one drink in a day irrespective of their age.

It is still unclear if moderate consumption is safe or not. However, it is best to reduce and then stop drinking altogether. The key to doing that is not stopping alcohol intake instantly. Such a cold turkey approach never works. Instead, adopt the slow and steady wins the race approach. In other words, reduce the number of drinks you take gradually.