We have grown up with the notion that alcohol is toxic for our body and that it damages your liver and can cause a number of health issues. But every theory means a two-faced implication.
And truth be told, anything beyond control can become toxic for living. As the Sufis say – extremes are dangerous, stay in the middle to maintain a balance in life.
Yes. Alcohol has some health benefits for your body, but before you draw easy conclusions and drink a bottle of vodka at 9 a.m., it is important to note that the statement comes with certain responsibilities.
It is only beneficial when consumed in smaller quantities, and smaller amounts mean 1 drink a day for women and 2 for men, as per a report in Times of India. One drink can include 12 ounces of beer (355 ml), 5 ounces of wine (148 ml ) or 1.5 ounces of liquor (44.3 ml).
If you continue to drink after the recommended amount, the marginal utility declines – the benefits start lowering and the risks start increasing.
Now, that we have given a disclaimer, let’s discuss the benefits alcohol holds for us:
Some research shows that drinking moderately can increase one’s life span and help live lengthy. It was found out that moderate drinking throughout the week was better than binge drinking and showed a 25% reduced risk of mortality. (1)
According to a 2018 study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, people who drink in moderation are less likely to die young than those who abstain from alcohol entirely.
Binge drinking can cause multiple serious illnesses including heart problems, but moderate drinking can reduce the risk of heart failure. (2)
It was found that restricted drinking reduces the chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or hardened arteries by 25% to 40%. Small amounts of alcohol can increase high-density lipoproteins cholesterol levels (HDL) which is good for the body.
People who follow restricted drinking are at a lowered risk of getting kidney stones. Alcohol makes us pee more often, therefore keeping our kidneys clear of any crystals that later form as stones. (3)
It is important to note that if done beyond the limit, consuming alcohol can lead to dehydration that increases the risk of kidney stones.
Apart from the physical benefits of moderate drinking, there are some psychological benefits of alcohol as well. It was found that people who drink moderately are happier and carefree. (4)
Alcohol helps maintain a cosy atmosphere for a social meet and can be a bonding factor, so drinking with family or friends lifts one’s mood, helps stay within limits and ensures a sense of security.