Health benefits of alcohol for people over 50 years of age investigated in a recent study.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
If alcohol does have benefits, they are not equally distributed. There are age variations.
Introduction on the health benefits of alcohol
Heavy alcohol drinking is associated to a range of serious health disorders ranging from certain cancers, liver disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and damage to the nervous system, including the brain.
However, as has been exhaustively covered in the popular press, drinking in moderation might have certain health benefits.
Health benefits of alcohol is experience in moderate alcohol consumption
One study, for instance, found that moderate drinking protected against all-cause mortality, as well as mortality related to cardiovascular disorders.
A recent study led by Dr. Timothy Naimi, of the Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts, adds further fuel to an already rampant blaze.
The authors take aim at the methodology used in earlier studies, and they published their findings in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
After the research on the difference of age, the analysis showed that the level of an individual’s alcohol-related risk was heavily influenced by age.
In total, 35.8 percent of alcohol-related deaths occurred in people aged 20–49. When looking at deaths that were prevented by alcohol consumption, the scientists found only 4.5 percent in this age group.
When they looked at individuals aged 65 or over, it was a different story: Although a similar 35 percent of alcohol-related deaths occurred in this group, the authors found a huge 80 percent of the deaths prevented by alcohol in this demographic.
The researchers also saw this stark difference between age groups when they looked at the number of potential years lost to alcohol.
Conversely, the over-65 group accounted for 15 percent of the overall years of life lost, but 50 percent of the years of life saved.
The authors conclude that younger people “are more likely to die from alcohol consumption than they are to die from a lack of drinking,” but older people are more likely to experience the health benefits of moderate drinking.
Although the conclusions are not explosive, they bring us a more complete understanding of alcohol’s impact on health: Moderate drinking may benefit people of a certain age group, but heavy drinking is harmful to all.
Equally, health benefits of alcohol can be found in alleviating other health conditions.
Libido for instance, Contrary to prior beliefs, newer research has found that moderate drinking of alcohol might actually protect men against erectile dysfunction.
In a 2009 study published in the, Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that the chances of erectile dysfunction were reduced by 25 to 30 percent among alcohol drinkers.
The lead researcher, Kew-Kim Chew, an epidemiologist at the University of West Australia, conducted the study with 1,770 Australian men.
In his study, Chew cautiously noted that he and his team in no way are advising men to take the bottle, and that further research is needed, to accurately connect impotence and alcohol consumption.
Moderate alcohol consumption has effect on diabetes mellitus, mostly type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2,” researchers said in a statement to Reuters.
It Helps Prevent Against the Common Cold according to
the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University found that while susceptibility to the common cold was increased by smoking, moderate alcohol consumption led to a decrease in common cold cases for people that do not smoke.
This study was conducted in 1993 with 391 adults.
In 2002, according to the New York Times, Spanish researchers found that by drinking eight to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, one could see a 60-percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold. The scientists suspected that this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine.