No level of alcohol consumption is healthy, scientists say

A new study says that no amount of drinking is good for you.


When it comes to drinking alcohol, the healthiest thing we can do is to abstain completely, according to a large, wide-ranging report published by scientists.

Alcohol led to 2.8 million premature deaths in 2016; it was the most important risk factor for premature death and disability in the 15-to 49-year age group, accounting for 20 percent of deaths, according to the researchers of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which carried out the study.

Worldwide, with 27.1 percent of the cancer deaths in women and 18.9 percent in men over the age of 50 years were linked to their drinking habits, according to the outcome of the research, which were published in the Lancet medical journal.

Researchers examined the health effects of the consumption of alcohol in 195 countries between 1990 and 2016—the use of the data of 694 studies to find out how often was drinking and from 592 studies to determine health risks.

The study, which received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also analyzed or moderate levels of drinking could be for the health—that earlier studies have indicated.



Although the researchers found a low level of drinking may offer some protection against heart disease, and perhaps diabetes, these positives were far outweighed by the harmful impact of alcohol.

For the younger people, the biggest causes of death linked to alcohol were tuberculosis (1.4 percent), road transport injury (1.2%) and self-harm (1.1 percent).



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The study shows that one in three, or 2.4 billion people around the world, the drinking of alcohol. That works a quarter of the women and 39 percent of men. Denmark has the most drinkers—95.3% of women and 97.1 per cent of the men.

“Alcohol is dire for the future health of the population in the absence of policy action today. The prevailing view of the health benefits of alcohol should be revised, in particular as an improvement of the methods and analyses continue to show how much alcohol contributes to the global death and disability. Our results show that the safest level of drinking is not” the study says.

“This level is in conflict with the majority of health guidelines, which take health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day. Use of Alcohol contributes to the health of the loss of many causes and takes its toll on the lifespan, particularly among males,” the study argues, suggesting that public policy should focus on reducing consumption across the board.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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