Moderate Social Drinking May be Good for Your Health

by Harold Mandel, M.D.

It is a myth that young men and women seen enjoying a couple of glasses of wine, beer or cocktails at a cocktail lounge at the end of a long day must be mentally ill. This simply generally is not true. Stopping off at a cocktail lounge for a couple of drinks at the end of the day generally is a sign of a psychologically well balanced and well educated person who enjoys socializing in a friendly atmosphere which as a matter of fact offers alcoholic beverages which in moderation are good for your health.

Professor David J. Hanson, Ph.D. of the Sociology Department at the State University of New York in Potsdam has reported "Moderate drinking may be good for your health." Hanson has reported moderate drinkers generally have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. Moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages actually have fewer heart attacks, strokes and lower rates of diabetes, arthritis, enlarged prostate, dementia (including Alzheimer's disease), and several major cancers.

Throughout history alcohol has been used medicinally. The medicinal properties of alcohol are mentioned 191 times in the Old and New Testaments. Even the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has reported that moderate drinkers have the greatest longevity. The Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has commented that "Numerous well-designed studies have concluded that moderate drinking is associated with improved cardiovascular health." And the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association has reported that "The lowest mortality occurs in those who consume one or two drinks per day."

Overall moderate drinkers tend to enjoy better health than do either abstainers or heavy drinkers. Daily moderate drinkers across the United States experience significantly less acute hospitalization. Overall moderate drinkers have been found to experience lower levels of poor general health, long-term illness, and psychological distress when compared to abstainers and heavy drinkers.

Drinking may even be good for your career with a Dutch study finding that moderate drinkers under stress were less likely to be absent from work than were either abstainers or heavy drinkers. And it has been found that lifelong teetotalers as well as former drinkers are consistently less healthy than light to moderate drinkers. Investigators have concluded that "abstinence is at least as unhealthy as excessive drinking."


Posted from by permission of Dr. Harold Mandel.

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Filed Under: Longevity

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