How Bad Is Alcohol for You, Really?


Manage episode 256799790 series 2391385
By Mike Matthews. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

There’s no doubt heavy drinking is a ticket to an early death.

The CDC estimates 88,000 Americans die annually from alcohol-related causes, which includes car accidents, a cornucopia of cancers, and liver disease.

Fifteen million Americans are believed to have an alcohol dependency disorder, and until recently alcohol killed more people than opioids.

That’s not to mention the disastrous effects of alcoholism on quality of life, mental health, productivity, and relationships.

Of course, you’ve heard all this before, and don’t need me to tell you heavy drinking can ruin and shorten your life.

That said, you’ve also probably heard that moderate drinking is good for you. That’s the claim doctors, scientists, and beverage companies have promoted for years—heavy drinking is bad for you and moderate drinking is beneficial.

Now, though, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction after a series of studies emerged that seemed to show alcohol is dangerous in any amount.

For example, CNN published an article titled “Even one drink a day could be shortening your life,” in reference to one such study (which you’ll learn about in a moment). Now, the fashionable opinion is that any alcohol is bad for you, full stop, and even moderate drinking is an invitation to long-term health problems.

Is this true, though?

Are you shortening your life by having a glass or two of wine or beer each night?

Well, the simple answer is no, probably not.

The more complicated answer is that there’s still a lot we don’t know about the long-term effects of alcohol and there’s no one size fits all answer for how much alcohol you can safely drink.

So, what exactly does alcohol do to your body, and how much can you safely drink?

Keep listening to learn the answer.


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