A glass or two of wine a day won’t kill you, scientists say

Good news for anyone looking forward to a drink at the end of the day: research has shown that drinking a large glass of wine for women or two for men does not increase the risk of death.

scientists from Canada reviewed data from more than 100 studies involving nearly five million people and compared the risk of early death from any cause with alcohol consumption.

Consumption of up to 25 g of ethanol per day was found to be unrelated to increased mortality. According to the team, this is equivalent to drinking about three glasses of alcohol per day.

One unit of alcohol is equivalent to 10 ml or 8 g of pure alcohol, which is about the amount the human body can process in an hour. A unit of alcohol should theoretically be flushed out of someone’s system in 60 minutes. A tall glass of wine is about three units and a pint of lager is about two.

The daily amount of 25 g is equivalent to drinking 21 units per week without affecting the risk of death.

The guidelines advise both men and women not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

Data shows that when all other health factors were taken into account, including BMI, smoking status, and exercise, there was a gender difference between men and women.

Men were found to be able to consume up to 44 g of ethanol per day without increasing the risk of early death. This is equivalent to 5.5 units or two large glasses of wine per day. For women, this average level of consumption was linked to a 21 percent increase in the risk of death.

“This systematic review and meta-analysis of 107 cohort studies involving more than 4.8 million participants found no significant reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality for drinkers who consumed less than 25 g of ethanol per day,” said the University researchers. from Victoria. , wrote in their study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“There was a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality in female drinkers who drank 25 or more grams per day and in male drinkers who drank 45 or more.

“Low alcohol consumption was not associated with protection against all-cause death,” the scientists add.

“High volume” male drinkers of up to 65g of ethanol per day, or eight UK units, were found to be 15% more likely to die early.

At this level of consumption, it would be two large glasses of wine a day and a pint of lager.

A woman who drinks that much alcohol every day, on the other hand, has a 34 percent increased risk of early death.

The highest consumption group was classified as more than 65 grams of ethanol per day.

This is associated with a 34% and 61% increased risk of premature death for men and women, respectively.

In the study, the scientists say there is no evidence that drinking, of any amount, reduces a person’s risk of premature death, but there is a window where alcohol consumption does not appear to be associated with an increased risk.

“A greater risk of all-cause mortality for women than for men was observed when drinking 25 or more ounces per day, including a significantly increased risk for moderate consumption for women that was not observed for men,” the scientists wrote in the paper. study.

“However, the mortality risks for an average consumption of up to 25 g per day were very similar for both sexes.”

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2023]