14 Ways Drinking Alcohol Is Good for Health (Medical and Health Facts)

Alcohol is good for health when consumed in moderation. For example, it reduces the risk of developing many diseases and health problems. Not only is alcohol good for health, but it also promotes longer life. Those who drink in moderation tend to have better health and live longer. That’s in comparison with those who abstain from alcohol and with those who abuse it.

In addition, frequent drinkers tend to enjoy better health and longevity than those who drink less frequently.

             Overview

1.  Cardiovascular Disease
2.  Survivability of Heart Attacks
3.  Stroke
4.  Type 2 Diabetes
5.  Alzheimer’s Disease
6.  Arthritis
7.  Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
8.  Osteoporosis
9.  Gallbladder Disease and Gallstones
10. Kidney Cancer
11. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
12. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
13. Thyroid Cancer
14. Peripheral Arterial Disease

Research suggests that no particular alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) is more effective. The major health benefit is in the alcohol itself. And standard servings of beer, wine and spirits contain the same amount of alcohol. It’s 6/10ths of an ounce of pure alcohol.

Guidelines for drinking in moderation differ, often widely, from country to country. That’s because they’re not really based on science. They’re based largely on cultural beliefs and traditions. In the U.S., the guidelines define one drink per day for women as moderate. It’s two drinks a day for men.

It’s important to consider relative risks. For example, cardiovascular disease kills about half of all women. Moderate drinking reduces this greatly. Breast cancer kills about five percent of women. Moderate drinking increases this risk somewhat.

It’s wise to discuss any alcohol and health concerns with your physician. That professional knows your health history and that of your family.

1. Coronary Heart Disease

alcohol good for healthModerate drinking dramatically reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. That includes congestive heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction), angina, and many others. Alcohol abstainers who begin drinking in moderation also enjoy a reduced risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the major cause of death in Western societies. This is a major reason drinking alcohol is good for health.

Learn more about heart disease.

Resources on the Web

Know the Heart Attack Warning Signs.

Are You at Risk of a Heart Attack?

Common Warning Signs of a Heart Attack.

2. Survivilability of Heart Attacks

Drinking in moderation also increases the survivability of heart attacks. A number of studies have shown that drinkers are much more more likely to escape death from a heart attack. In addition, a large study was made of over 88,000 men. Those who had two to four drinks per day after a heart heart attack more than doubled their chance of survival.

Learn more at Heart Attack Survival Increased by Drinking Alcohol.

Resources on the Web

Alcohol and Heart Attack Survival.

Moderate Drinking Helps Men after a Heart Attack.

Moderate Drinkers More Likely to Survive Heart Attacks.

3. Stroke

alcohol good for healthSensible drinking reduces the risk of stroke. Stroke is the major cause of disability in the U.S. And it’s the fifth largest cause of death in the country. Each year about 800,000 people suffer a stroke.

Discover more about stroke.

Resources

Questions and Answers about Stroke. (webpage)

Brain Basics: Preventing Stroke. (webpage)

Spence, J. How to Prevent Your Stroke. Nashville: Vanderbilt U Press, 2006. GET URL

4. Type 2 Diabetes

alcohol good for healthModerate consumption of alcohol lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes). Diabetes can lead to problems such as blindness, loss of limbs, impotence, and death.

Learn more about drinking alcohol and type 2 diabetes.

Resources on the Web

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes.

Choose More than 50 Ways to Prevent Diabetes.

4 Steps to Managing Your Diabetes.

5. Alzheimer’s and Other Causes of Dementia

alcohol good for healthDrinking in moderation reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia. It helps people maintain their memory and their ability to think clearly.

Dementia imposes high health care costs, an emotional burden of care givers, and destroys the quality of life of patients.

Find out more about Alcohol and Dementia.

Resources

Gray-Davidson, F. When Your Parent has Alzheimer’s. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2000.  GET URL

Types of Dementia. (webpage)

Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. (webpage)

6. Arthritis

alcohol good for healthDrinking sensibly reduces the risk of arthritis. We think of arthritis in connection with our joints. However, the inflammation of arthritis can cause problems throughout the entire body. That includes the heart, eyes, lungs, skin, blood vessels, blood, bones, and mouth.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk: Drinking Alcohol Beneficial provides much more information.

Resources on the Web

Types of Arthritis.

Feeling Out of Joint.

Arthritis.

7. Enlarged Prostate (BPH)

alcohol good for healthConsuming alcohol in moderation reduces the risk of enlarged prostate (benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH). Few men experience BPH symptoms before age 40. However, over half do by their late sixties. And by their seventies and eighties, about 90% do. BPH isn’t life-threatening, but it can have a large negative impact on lifestyle.

Drinking Alcohol Reduces Risk of Enlarged Prostate describes the disease in detail.

Resources on the Web

Enlarged Prostate or BPH.

Prostate Enlargement or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test.

8. Osteoporosis

alcohol is good for healthModerate drinking reduces the chances of developing osteoporosis. We often think of osteoporosis as a serious problem for women. However, it also effects men as well. And for both, it’s a common cause of broken bones. Osteoporosis tends to cause disability among older adults. A broken hip generally leads to a downward spiral of health problems. This leads to death in about half its victims.

Learn more at the Risk of Osteoporosis and Drinking Alcohol.

Resources on the Web

Basics of Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis. Overview.

Osteoporosis.

9. Gallbladder Disease and Gallstones

alcohol good for health

Unusually large gallstone

Consuming alcohol in moderation reduces the risk of both gallbladder disease and gallstones. Gallbladder dsease is a common cause of emergency room visits.

Find out more at Drinking Alcohol and Gallstone & Gallbladder Disease Risk.

Resources on the Web

Gallbladder Disease.

Treatment for Gallstones.

Symptoms & Treatment of Gallstones.

10. Kidney Cancer

alcohol is good for healthModerate drinking reduces the risk of kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma). It’s one of the ten most common cancers among both men and women. Doctors diagnose about 50,000 new cases of kidney cancer each year among men and women in the U.S. alone. And it’s a major cause of death around the world.

Learn more at Drinking Alcohol Reduces Kidney Cancer Risk.

Resources

Campbell, S., et al. 100 Questions & Answers about Kidney Cancer. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2016.

Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer. (webpage).

What You Need to Know about Kidney Cancer. (webpage)

11. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

alcohol is good for health

Lymphatic System

Drinking moderately reduces the chances of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). The lymph system is part of the immune system. It helps fight infections and some diseases.The cancer can spread throughout the the lymph system if not successfully treated. It can then spread to the liver, brain, bone marrow, or other parts of the body.

Find out more at Alcohol and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Resources on the Web

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

What You Need To Know About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

12. Hodgkin Lymphoma

Moderate drinking reduces the chances of Hodgkin Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease). As indicated above, the lymph system is part of the immune system, which fights infections and some diseases. If doctors can’t successfully treat the cancer, it can spread to the entire lymph system. The lymph system is widely spread throughout the body.

Hodgkin lymphoma starts most often in lymph nodes in the upper part of the body. The most common places are in the chest, neck, or under the arms.

Resources on the Web

What is Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Hodgkin Disease (Hodgkin Lymphoma).

What You Need to Know about Hodgkin Lymphoma.

13. Thyroid Cancer

alcohol is good for healthConsuming alcohol in moderation reduces the risk thyroid cancer. This cancer is the 8th most common in the U.S. It’s also common throughout the world.

Discover more at Thyroid Cancer Reduced by Drinking Alcohol.

Resources on the Web

What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid Cancer.

What You Need to Know about Thyroid Cancer.

14. Peripheral Arterial Disease

alcoholis good for healthModerate drinking reduces the risk of peripheral arterial disease or PAD. This disease is a major cause of death among the elderly). It’s caused by fatty deposits (plaque) in arteries supplying blood to the arms and legs. Early treatment reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.Resources

Resources on the Web

Facts about Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD.

Perphrial Arteriad Disease Fact Sheet.

 

Summary: Alcohol is Good for Health

These are 14 ways drinking alcohol is good for health. There are many more. Explore at Alcohol and Health.