Alcohol: To Drink Alcohol Or Not To Drink

Health Topics

Drinking too much alcohol is never a positive choice, but studies have shown that having a moderate amount every day might be healthier than was once thought.

A review of more than 100 studies has shown that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce your risk of:

Most of the studies also found benefits to having no more than one drink a day. One drink is defined as.

  • Beer. 12 oz., 5 percent alcohol content
  • Distilled spirits (run, vodka, whiskey, etc.). 1.5 oz., 40 percent alcohol content/80-proof
  • Malt liquor. 8 oz., 7 percent alcohol content
  • Wine. 5 oz., 12 percent alcohol content

To have possible positive health benefits, have no more than one drink in any single day. Having multiple drinks in one day and none on another day to create an average of one drink per day does not have the same health effects.

Possible positive health effects of moderate alcohol consumption include:

However, while drinking moderate amounts may not damage your health, if you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start doing so for the health benefits. And don’t drink any alcohol if: 

  • You're younger than 21
  • You have health problems, including some cancers and liver disease, that can become worse with any amount of alcohol
  • You are pregnant or might be pregnant

Along with the possible benefits moderate alcohol consumptions can have, the studies also showed “convincing evidence” that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Overall, weigh your personal risks and benefits before consuming alcohol. And always talk to your doctor before adding alcohol to or increasing alcohol in your diet.

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