Any alcohol in moderation may enhance your health

August 21, 2001 in Healthy Eating

Any alcohol in moderation may enhance your health

A new study out of Spain suggests that, in moderation, any form of alcohol can bestow health benefits. In a survey of more than 19,000 Spaniards, researchers found that moderate consumption of any alcohol-- beer, wine or liquor--was linked to better overall health, compared with abstinence from drinking.

While this is at odds with past research linking wine, but not other alcoholic drinks, to better health, the Spanish researchers speculate that the health impact of different drinking patterns may vary among cultures. Cultural differences, such as the tendency of people in Mediterranean countries to drink with meals may help explain the disparate findings.

People should not take the study findings as a license to drink, as too much alcohol can cause serious liver damage and raise the risk of certain cancers. And some experts argue that the benefits attributed to wine drinking, such as a lower risk of heart disease, may be explained in large measure by overall lifestyle habits rather than wine itself. Wine drinkers appear to have relatively high IQs and incomes, healthy habits and a generally positive outlook on life.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.