Regular but moderate consumption of alcohol makes you healthier and happier than total abstinence. It also adds years to your life expectancy. These are conclusions from a 20-year study carried out by scientists at the University of Texas University at Austin. They published their results in the latest issue of ‘Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research’.
The study tracked 1,824 volunteers aged between 55 and 65. They included teetotalers, heavy drinkers and also moderate drinkers, whose daily consumption did not exceed three units of alcohol. In the first group, only 31% survived to the end of the 20th year, in the second group, 40%, and in the third, 59%.
Dr Mikhail Smirnov edits the alcohole.ru web portal:
“This is not a revelation. In France, for instance oenotherapy, or the use of wine for therapeutic purposes, has been around for centuries. Red sec is particularly beneficial, because in contains antioxidants and also rubidium, which displaces radioactive strontium. This is no secret to medical scientists.”
True, alcohol rarely comes alone without substances that are dissolved in it. Even a teetotaler will be happy to consume a few drops of haw tincture to stimulate his system’s immunity to infectious disease. Consuming strong drinks containing tannins helps you prevent gastrointestinal upset, and sipping a low alcoholic drink with honey or cinnamon saves you from the common cold.
Dr Vadim Drobiz heads the Moscow-based Alcohol Market Research Center:
“There is no doubt that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial in cardiovascular cases. Alcohol also acts as an antidepressant, helping moderate drinkers live longer lives. Sport, too, helps you cope with stress. But I have serious reasons to believe that a forced three-mile run, especially combined with emotional distress, will do you much more harm than 40 milliliters of good vodka.”
Pure alcohol, or ethanol, is generated metabolically, and adding a little bit through oral consumption cannot do you any harm. True, physicians usually stop short of promoting alcohol as a medicine. But they do so out of fear that excessive consumption may lead to addiction.
Reprinted from The Voice of Russia.