To stay healthy, avoid alcoholic drinks - including red wine

   ONE A DAY Figure for women

Going teetotal is the only way to avoid risking health problems with alcohol, scientists have claimed.

Unfortunately, it seems that compared to abstinence even one single standard drink which is the equivalent to a small beer, glass of wine or shot of spirits per day can raise the odds of developing at least one of two dozen health issue by about half-a-percent, according to this latest study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends women limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day and men two drinks per day, but it's easy to unknowingly go over these limits.

Alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016, accounting for almost one in 10 deaths, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal The Lancet. For people over 50, cancers were a leading cause of alcohol-related death.

'Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention'.

Denmark had the highest proportion of alcohol consumers, 95.3 per cent of women and 97.3 per cent of men, and Pakistan and Bangladesh the lowest.

"Although the health risks associated with alcohol start off being small with one drink a day, they then rise rapidly as people drink more".

The researchers proposed that alcoholic drinks be made less affordable and appealing by increasing taxes on them and regulating their price, the marketing of drinks and where alcohol can be sold.

         TV presenter Adrian Chiles
GETTY TV presenter Adrian Chiles

"The truth is that the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom drink within the Chief Medical Officer's low risk guidelines".

"However, it is important to note that many everyday activities, such as driving, carry risks which we deem to be acceptable - studies like this one can help people make more informed choices about which risks they wish to take".

"This study is extremely important because it sheds light on the unsafe impact of alcohol - which is greatly minimized in our culture", said Joseph Garbely, vice president of medical services and medical director at Caron Treatment Centers.

According to the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, which was conducted at the University of Washington, in Seattle, there is no healthy level of alcohol consumption.

Studies about drinking alcohol typically have one thing in common: The result is usually that everything's OK in moderation.

Men in Romania who partake knocked back a top-scoring eight drinks a day on average, with Portugal, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Ukraine just behind at seven "units" per day. The risk climbed to 37 percent with five drinks. While there's "no question" that heavy drinking is harmful, he says that plenty of data supports links between moderate drinking and lower total mortality and a decreased risk of heart disease - which, he says, are far more relevant concerns for most Americans than something like tuberculosis, which the Lancet paper identifies as a leading alcohol-related disease worldwide.

But those benefits are "outweighed by the overall adverse health impact of alcohol, even at moderate levels", she said.

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