Is moderate alcohol consumption really healthy?

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Is moderate alcohol consumption really healthy?

In our culture, moderate alcohol consumption is considered protection against cardiovascular diseases. However, many Europeans do not agree on the amount of health-friendly alcohol consumption. Scientists are trying to find answers to them.

Moderate alcohol consumption benefits the heart and circulatory system Even if there are contrary opinions, it is generally assumed in this country that moderate alcohol consumption can be a protection against cardiovascular diseases. It is similar in other parts of Europe. But when it comes to the question of how much is still safe, there are different opinions. Italian doctors, for example, set the bar for alcohol consumption that is compatible with health at 40 grams per day, while the Cologne Federal Center for Health Education would like to grant German women only twelve grams of alcohol per day. Accordingly, an Italian woman should be able to drink more than three times as much as a German woman without having to worry.

Grotesque European differences German scientists have now dealt with the topic of moderate alcohol and, in particular, wine consumption in the “German Medical Weekly Journal”. In the respective countries, the respective recommendations deviate from one another to an almost grotesque extent. The health risk for a Portuguese man would only start at 40 grams of alcohol a day, but for a German man it would already start at 20 grams. In France, no distinction is made between the sexes, and women and men are allowed to consume 30 grams of alcohol a day as safe. In the USA, however, men could easily consume 28 and women only 14 grams. The differences that are made in Spain seem even more surprising. For the residents of Madrid, 30 grams per day would be the maximum for a health-friendly alcohol consumption, but 70 grams for the Catalans and without differentiating between the sexes.

Scientists with a conflict of interest The three researchers, Professor Nikolaus Worm (Saarbrücken), cardiologist Professor Gustav Belz (Wiesbaden) and nutritionist Claudia Stein-Hammer (Mainz), have now sifted through current scientific sources to provide evidence of the beneficial effects of alcohol and especially wine to manage health. All three scientists are interwoven in their work with the German Wine Academy DWA. Since this is a lobby organization of the German wine industry, they would have declared the resulting conflict of interest in the specialist journal "German Medical Weekly Journal". In total, they cited 41 studies from the past 15 years on the subject of “alcohol and heart”.

Dangerous effects of alcohol with increased consumption The latest and most extensive meta-analysis of 84 long-term observation studies from all over the world came to the following result in 2011: “Compared to abstinence, the risk of cardiovascular mortality from alcohol consumption was reduced by an average of 25 percent. The dose that indicated the lowest risk was in the range of 15 to 30 grams of alcohol (200 to 400 ml of wine) per day, with women being in the lower range. With consumption of up to 15 grams of alcohol per day, there was also a significantly reduced overall mortality rate (by 13 percent). ”Most studies show that people who do not drink alcohol are at higher health risk, as moderate consumers. But when consumption increases significantly, alcohol has a dangerous effect on the brain, liver and heart, as well as on cancer.

Does the protective effect depend on the drink or the alcohol content? In 2011, Italian epidemiologists investigated whether the protective effect is based solely on the alcohol content of a drink or whether it depends specifically on the drink in question. Worm and his colleagues report: "From 16 available case control and long-term observation studies, they related data on wine, beer and spirits consumption to cardiovascular health and overall mortality." Among other things, it was found: "The largest Risk reduction was 31 percent with an average consumption of 21 grams of alcohol per day. A statistically significant risk reduction was found up to 72 grams per day. In terms of cardiovascular mortality, the maximum risk reduction of 34 percent was 24 grams per day. ”Beer was also found to have a preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases, but not for spirits.

Regularly small amounts better than binge drinking Also in the 2012 results of the U.S. NHANES III study (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study), moderate daily alcohol consumption in relation to mortality was identified as particularly risk-reducing. And this before factors such as no smoking, physical activity and healthy eating. Drinking habits played a major role in this: regular but moderate drinking was better than occasional intoxication. According to consistent studies, the explanation for the infarct-preventing effect of alcohol lies in the influence on blood lipids. People who regularly consume small amounts of alcohol apparently had more so-called high-density lipoproteins, whose task is to transport the cholesterol away from the walls of the arteries and thus counteract the so-called calcification. At the same time, the alcohol lowers the LDL content of cholesterol, those molecules that are considered to be a significant risk of heart attack because they are deposited on the wall of the vessel.

Wine is more than alcohol As Prof. Worm and his team emphasize, wine is more than just alcohol: “In addition to alcohol, wine contains other ingredients with specific biological effects - above all numerous polyphenols. Polyphenols protect the plant from harmful environmental influences, such as parasites or fungi. They also have a high pharmacological potential in humans. Many have an antioxidant effect and in this way inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reduce its deposition in the vessel wall and thus obviously slow down the process of atherogenesis. ”But despite the positive results that have been put together, the consultants at the German Wine Academy also do not want to restrict alcohol or alcohol consumption Guessing wine enjoyment: "With amounts of more than 20 grams of alcohol per day for women and 30 grams for men, no further risk reduction in the cardiovascular area is discernible. Since the alcohol-related risks - liver and pancreas diseases, certain types of tumors and addiction - increase from this dose, it is strongly advised not to use more than moderate amounts. "

Little alcohol is not healthy either. However, other studies conclude that even little alcohol is not healthy. A team of scientists led by Manuela Bergmann and Heiner Boeing from the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam-Rehbrücke recently announced their analysis based on the data from the Europe-wide “Epic Study”. The results show that people who consumed no more than the daily recommended amount of alcohol from the age of 20 have a 9 to 14 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, but this does not mean for the scientists that moderate alcohol consumption helps protect the heart. The fact that this was only observed in participants who did not have high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, heart attack or stroke before the start of the study is often not presented in sufficient detail.

Controlled wealth drinkers The amount that Worm and colleagues concede to adults is 0.2 liters per day for women and 0.3 liters of wine for men. Only a few people really benefit from the protective effect of alcohol, namely the so-called “controlled prosperity drinkers”, who can limit themselves to the proverbial “glass in honor”. The average German consumes much more, however. The current figures from the German Center for Addiction Issues DHS show that Germany with 107.2 liters of beer, 25.1 liters of wine and sparkling wine and 5.4 liters of spirits per year per inhabitant is in the upper middle of alcohol consumption and traditional Gourmet nations France, Italy, Switzerland or Greece lapped by miles. In addition, around 9.5 million people in Germany consume alcohol in a health-hazardous form and around 1.3 million people are considered to be alcohol-dependent, as can be seen from the federal government's drug report for 2013. In Germany alone, 74,000 people die each year from the direct and indirect consequences of their alcohol abuse. (sb)

Image: Sigrid Rossmann / pixelio

Author and source information

Video: Alcohol Healthier Than Exercise?! New Study. Doctor Mike


  1. Fahy

    Ugh, you bullshit!

  2. Siraj

    A nice theme

  3. Nakora

    forgot to write about the loot !!!!!!!!!

  4. Lamorak

    almost nothing)

  5. Bairrfhoinn

    Competent message :)

  6. Driscoll

    Totally agree with her. In this nothing there is a good idea. I agree.

  7. Gar

    Earlier I thought differently, I thank for the help in this question.

  8. Stanbeny

    Exactly! We think that it is good thinking. And she has a right to life.

  9. Henri

    It is remarkable, it is a funny piece

Write a message

Previous Article

Do not underestimate the effects of medicinal herbs

Next Article

Germany as a measles exporter