Alcohol in moderation is ok, we tell our selves. That’s because ‘healthy’ alcohol intake is around 14 - 21 units, the scientists tell us.
Recent research from the UK gives weight to the argument that we can’t have a “one size fits all” approach for healthy drinking / eating. And for some, well, wine o’clock may be safer being a nice cup of tea!
The UK study followed 550 men and women (about 75% were men) over 30 years. Participants were about 44 years old at the start of the study. Researchers investigated the effect of alcohol on brain structure and function.
Results showed some interesting things:
All well and good. But what does this mean to us, and how does it support the “one size DOESN’T fit all” approach to healthy eating / drinking.
First we need to acknowledge that there’s still a lot we don’t fully understand about what is “safe” when it comes to alcohol. Different studies have shown different results – some show that small amounts of alcohol can be safe, even protective, and other studies seem to show the opposite.
Why is this? Can scientists really not agree? Is it all a conspiracy paid for by the wine and beer industry? Is it all a government cover-up?
No. Sorry. It’s usually just down to a difference in study design, what they were looking to test and how they tested it. If there was a standardised group of study questions and methods that scientists could only study, and we had more than one study per question we might see a bit more agreement between studies.
Looking at the research that has been done, we can see some trends that may help you make an informed choice about whether you drink or not … Take a look at your family ...
If you’re going to drink alcohol here’s some guidelines
But the last word is really that it’s better not to start at all – we just don’t know what’s safe.
Now ... where's my cuppa?
Katrina Pace, Dietitian
Gut bugs fascinate me. Diet and gut bugs intrigue me. Cooking is essential. Add them all together and you get a fairly interesting opinion on life! In my humble opinion.