Impact of alcohol on our health

June 4, 2024
minute read

Over the years there have been claims that moderate drinking (less than 14 units a day) is healthy for you, however a WHO study that came out in the lancet in 2018, which had done a comprehensive study in multiple ages, geographies and over a 16 year period,  refutes this claim and says there are no healthy levels of alcohol consumption let alone benefits from drinking.  

The amount your drink is directly proportional to the risk you are under.

While the study's authors and previous studies have shown; moderate drinking may reduce the likelihood of heart disease, they found that the potential to develop cancer and other diseases offsets these potential benefits.  Alcohol does affect people differently according to their genes, so some people will suffer more and others less by the amount of alcohol they drink. 

There was a smaller study which indicated moderate drinking was less likely to result in dementia, whereas no drinking and heavy drinking results in much higher dementia risk.

How is your mental health impacted by alcohol

Anxiety and depression has been associated with heavier alcohol consumption as it disrupts the chemical balance in your brain. Non-drinker and very heavy drinkers have been found to have much higher levels of clinical depression according to this 1985 study.

It is surprising non-drinkers also are at risk, the reasons are thought to be that alcohol is so strongly linked with our social life and connections, that for those who do not drink, may do so not through choice but lack of social life. As non-drinkers and options for zero and low alcohol have increased these correlation may well become obsolete.

Drinking alcohol in better ways:
How to reduce the negative impacts of alcohol intake
  1. Understand how much you are drinking most people underestimate the amount they drink, it will also encourage you to be more mindful about how much you drink.
  2. Abstaining for a month. This has been proven to reduce long term drinking.  Dry January or Stoptober are popular times to go without alcohol. Seek medical advice before stopping drinking abruptly, as this can have a worse impact on your health.
  3. Exercise - A study has shown that you can counteract some of the dangers of alcohol by doing significant exercise.  |

If you are concerned about the amount you drink, then seek medical advice before stopping or reducing your alcohol intake.


Share this article