How much alcohol can we consume daily without harming our health? Read our article and find out!

Epidemiological studies, mostly observational, have suggested consistent cardiovascular benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption, so that the latter has been considered essential in various otherwise healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean.

Alcohol, Alcoholic beverages, Alcoholic drinks, Health, Diet, Longevity, Drinks, Longevity

In the absence of randomised trials, mainly for ethical and economic reasons, the use of human genetic data (as in Mendelian randomisation, for example) has allowed the assessment of possible causal associations by exploiting natural genetic variations to allow us to study impartially the risk that may arise from exposure to a factor, in this case, alcohol intake.

So how much alcohol can we consume daily without harming our health?


Using data from 261,991 people of European descent, this analysis found that, people genetically predisposed to drinking less alcohol have lower levels of blood pressure, inflammatory markers, measures of obesity, non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-c), as well as reduced chances of developing coronary heart disease.

A other analysis, which took place in 10 regions of China, also does not support the apparent protective effects that moderate alcohol consumption is thought to offer. On the contrary, alcohol consumption was found to be causally linked to increased blood pressure and the chances of ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke.

Alcohol, Alcoholic beverages, Alcoholic drinks, Health, Diet, Longevity, Drinks, Longevity

In another study, analysing data from nearly 950,000 people of European descent, found that a genetic predisposition to higher alcohol consumption may be causally associated with an increased risk of stroke and peripheral arterial disease.

Another analysis in about 500,000 people, found that alcohol use is positively associated with blood pressure, bleeding stroke, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular disease in general and death from all causes.

Finally, this recent analysis, using both linear and non-linear Mendelian randomization in more than 370,000 people of European descent, found causal associations between any alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease, but with unequal and exponential increases in risk at higher intake levels.

In short, the previous observations of epidemiological studies on any cardioprotective effects of light to moderate alcohol intake are probably largely explained by confounding lifestyle-related factors.

The genetic analyses are clear: Any alcohol consumption is harmful to health.

-Suprastratum: The authority on health, fitness and nutrition

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Author: Nick Krontiris

Founder, Suprastratum

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