We all know that alcoholic drinks can lead to a host of health problems over time. Heavy drinking can cause serious damage to the body and mind. Cancer, heart disease, liver complications, nervous system degradation, and brain damage are just a few of the undesirable conditions associated with frequent and long term alcohol consumption.
That’s why many are turning to non alcoholic drinks. Many beverage companies are now offering a range of alternatives to popular beverages that contain no alcohol. Being non-alcoholic, however, does not exactly mean 0% alcohol content. There are products marketed as such that include a slight amount of alcohol, but usually at levels less than half of 1%.
Moderate alcohol consumption
There’s no reason for consumers to protest the marketing of products labeled as non-alcoholic that still have alcohol in them. The moderate consumption of products containing the intoxicating substance is not necessarily bad. According to a study published in the journal Stroke, light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower stroke incidences among women.
On the other hand, a study by Spanish researchers found that moderate wine consumption has the potential of mitigating the chances of developing depression. Another study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology found that light to moderate alcohol drinking may protect against all-cause mortality and deaths brought about by cardiovascular disease. Additionally, a study published in the journal BMC Medicine reported that those who drank 2 to 3 glasses of wine weekly had considerably lower chances of developing clinical depression.
Older people tend to benefit from moderate drinking
There’s new information however, that will likely excite older people who are fond of alcoholic drinks. A recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs assailed the flaws in previous studies concerning the impact of alcohol on health and mortality. The authors assert that previous studies tend to have skewed results because they include the number of people who died due to drinking before they reach the age of 50.
For the researchers, people who are known to be regular alcohol drinkers at age 50 can be considered survivors of their alcohol consumption. After analyzing data from the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact Application (which is maintained by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the researchers noted that among people aged 65 or older, there were 80% of deaths prevented by alcohol consumption. This number dwarfs the 4.5% of deaths prevented by alcohol consumption among people in the 20-49 age bracket.
The phrase “deaths prevented by alcohol,” by the way, refers to life spans considered to have been extended by the positive benefits of alcohol drinking, particularly healthy drinking habits (moderation).
The conclusion of the researchers is that the adverse effect of alcohol consumption is worse among younger people, while the positive effects of “healthy alcohol consumption” is minimal. It’s the opposite for older people, though. People in their 50’s and older tend to benefit more from light to moderate alcohol drinking and are less likely to die from alcohol consumption. For those who couldn’t keep their alcohol intake in moderation, the consumption of non-alcoholic alternatives may also be beneficial.