It’s so hard to know what is safe moderate drinking. Different countries use different measures and there are so many research studies saying different things from moderate drinking protects your heart to there is no safe level of drinking.
Why is there so much confusion about moderate drinking?
A big problem is the money spent by big alcohol to fight efforts by government and public health care professionals to develop common standards. Recently here in Ireland they launched an “independent” report stating alcohol consumption was declining when alcohol consumption actually went up 5% in Ireland last year.
Many of the earlier studies showing there are health benefits from moderate drinking are now shown to be flawed. They compared people who had given up drinking for health reasons to people who were still drinking. This meant the people who had given up drinking had more health problems than the people who were still drinking!
There is no safe level of drinking
The reputable British journal the Lancet brought together a number of experts who concluded that overall alcohol is a more harmful drug than even heroin or cocaine.
So the public health experts have concluded there is no safe level of drinking.
So now they talk about low risk drinking limits and moderate drinking. For women this is eleven or less standard drinks and two drink free days. See the picture below for an example of a low risk drinking week.
Even moderate drinking decreases your brain power
Worryingly a new research study states that even moderate drinking can affect your brain power. The researchers did brain function tests including MRI scans and adjusted for age, social class and smoking. They found that even those people drinking to low risk guidelines were more likely to have damage known as hippocampal atrophy. The hippocampus is a key part of the brain for remembering and learning. The researchers found even moderate drinking affects memory and ability to move around spaces.
The more people drank the more brain damage they had.
You can see a report on the study here.
The majority of people who drink, drink too much.