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Should You Drink Alcohol To Live Longer? Studies Show Risks Of Booze May Outweigh Benefits

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A study, which surveyed 14,000 senior citizens in a retirement home, has revealed a link between drinking alcohol and longevity.

Alcohol And Longevity

In the new research presented that the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Claudia Kawas, from the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues found that people who drink about two glasses of wine or beer daily have 18 percent reduced risk of early death.

More interestingly, Kawas and her team found that the effect of alcohol on longevity is stronger than exercise.

This is not the first study that link alcohol and longevity. A 2007 research also had a similar finding. Seniors who consumed two or more alcoholic drink per day were found to have 15 percent reduced odds of dying compared to their teetotaler counterparts.

These studies may get people touting the benefits of booze, but the findings did not confirm a cause-and-effect relationship between drinking alcohol and long life. The researchers merely found an association between alcohol and longevity.

The researchers also noted that modest drinking, not consuming too much amount of alcohol, is tied to longevity. Kawas said that excessive drinking may even have the opposite effects.

Risks May Outweigh Benefits Of Consuming Alcohol

Studies have, in fact, shown that the more alcohol a person drinks, the more likely he or she is to experience adverse health effects. A growing amount of studies also suggest that the benefits of alcohol may not outweigh its risks.

In a 2017 study, researchers who looked at the brain of over 500 individuals found that even moderate drinking is linked to increased risk for hippocampal atrophy, a condition that causes cognitive and memory dysfunction due to the degeneration of the brain's hippocampus.

In another study published in January, researchers found that drinking alcohol can damage the DNA. By giving ethanol to mice, researchers found that consuming alcohol can cause permanent damage to the stem cells of the body.

Figures from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention likewise highlight the dangers of drunk driving.

"Every day, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 51 minutes," the CDC said.

The researchers of the 90+ Study said that those who drink too much alcohol are least likely to live long.

"Keep in mind that I start studying people when they're 90," Kawas told the AAAS audience. "I think it's very likely that individuals who have very excessive alcohol intake at younger ages don't even make it to their 90s."

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