This April health agencies everywhere are raising the issue of alcohol dependence and the risks associated with heavy alcohol consumption. The media is full of advice, articles and research about alcohol; some that say a glass of wine a day is great for you, other, more recent research, shows that even very low alcohol intake is bad for you. So, when it comes to your health is it better to drink or not to drink?
The relationship between alcohol and our health is a complex one; one new study shows that one drink a day can increase the risks of 7 types of cancer, whilst long standing research shows the positive impact of alcohol on heart health. Regardless of changing research and advice, one thing is clear; if you are pregnant or you have ever had a problem with alcohol dependence you should not consume any alcohol at all.
What is “A Drink”?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the US Department of Agriculture, one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits. Men can consume 2 drinks a day, or 14 a week with relative safety; women, who are more susceptible to alcohol dependence, can safely consume one drink a day, or 7 per week.
Alcohol and Heart Health
There is evidence that, for men over 40 and women over 50, a glass of wine with dinner can have benefits on heart health. However, for people under that age, a drink a day will not have any long term health benefits.
There is some evidence that alcohol can reduce the absorption of bad cholesterol into the blood when consumed with dark meat. However, this alcohol consumption could be in the form of a glass of red wine with the meal or marinating the dark meat in red wine before cooking.
In short, if you are a man over 40 or a woman over 50, who is otherwise healthy, a non-smoker, and have slightly high cholesterol, a drink a day cannot do your heart any harm and may even improve its health.
Alcohol and Cancer
Research into the effect of drinking alcohol on cancer risks has been on-going for years. It is clear that the risk cancer of the head and neck is significantly increased with increased alcohol consumption, particularly amongst smokers. There is also a link between moderate alcohol consumption and breast cancer.
Some physicians suggest that if there is a family history of cancer, particularly breast cancer or throat cancer, it may be wise for an individual to abstain entirely from drinking alcohol.
Alcohol and You
At Angeles Health, Mexico’s largest network of private hospitals, our philosophy is simple; we treat the patient, not the diagnosis. The reason for this is equally simple. Every single patient is different. Your age, gender, environment, lifestyle, diet, genetics, personality, will all have an impact on your treatment and recovery, from alternative cancer treatment to weight loss surgery.
We fully assess each individual before designing a unique alternative cancer treatment program or recommending the most appropriate weight loss surgery. Likewise, each individual will need to assess their situation in order to determine the appropriate alcohol consumption for them. If you know you have more than the recommended weekly alcohol intake, try to cut down. If you know that you are at risk from cancer, cut alcohol down or cut it out.
Angeles Health offers cosmetic and lifesaving health care to medical tourists as well as Mexican nationals. Offering the highest quality in healthcare at the lowest costs, we are proud to be at the forefront of many areas of medical development and innovation.
If you would like to know about the broad range of medical procedures we have available, Contact us.today for a free, no obligation consultation.