Adults over the age of 40 can benefit from drinking a glass of wine or a bottle of beer every day, latest research has found.

By examining the Global Burden of Disease database, scientists from Washington University have found that middle-aged individuals who consume two alcoholic drinks per day are not putting their health at risk.

They believe that a moderate amount of alcohol can combat the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in those over the age of 40.

In addition, they have reported that a daily alcohol intake can improve a middle-aged adult’s cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels.

Older adults over the age of 65 can safely consume 3.5 alcoholic drinks per day without seeing a decline in their health.

According to the academics, this advice is not applicable for adults under the age of 40 as alcohol ‘presents many health risks’ for the younger generation.

Author Dr Emmanuela Gakidou said: “Older people may benefit from drinking small amounts, but young people should not drink.

“While it may not be realistic to think young adults will abstain from drinking, we do think it’s important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health.”

Dr Gakidou added: “Although the risks associated with alcohol consumption are similar for males and females, young males stood out as the group with the highest level of harmful alcohol consumption.

“This is because a larger proportion of males compared to females consume alcohol and their average level of consumption is also significantly higher.”

Adults in the UK should avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week. In terms of alcohol, 14 units is around 10 small glasses of wine or six pints of beer.

Prior studies have reported a variety of different findings on alcohol consumption, such as excessive drinking triggering the development of cancer, heart disease and liver disease.

In one study, scientists also stated that people who do not drink are putting themselves at risk of an early death.

Fellow researcher Dana Bryazka said: “Even if the lowest level of safe consumption is used in alcohol guidelines, the findings imply that the recommended level of alcohol consumption is still too high for younger populations.”

The authors wrote: “Any level of drinking leads to a higher probability of injuries, while small amounts of alcohol decrease the risk of some conditions prevalent in older ages, such as ischaemic heart disease and diabetes.”


The study was published in The Lancet.


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