Drinking Won’t Help You Live Longer — in Fact, It Might Send You to an Early Grave
For many people, relaxing with a drink after a long day at work or during social events is a common occurrence. While moderate alcohol consumption has been touted to offer some health benefits, research suggests that drinking alcohol can actually increase the risk of developing several types of cancers, liver disease, and heart disease.
According to a study published in The Lancet in 2018, consuming any amount of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of early death. The study, which analyzed data from approximately 600,000 people in 19 countries, found that the risk of premature death increased as alcohol consumption increased, with no safe level of consumption. In fact, the study found that 2.8 million deaths in 2016 were attributed to alcohol use, with cancer and cardiovascular disease being the leading causes.
While some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, the risks associated with drinking outweigh any potential benefits. For example, research shows that alcohol consumption can increase the risk of breast, colon, liver, mouth, and throat cancers. Alcohol has been shown to act as a carcinogen, damaging DNA and causing cancerous changes in cells.
Drinking alcohol can also take a toll on the liver. Long-term alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, inflammation, and cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Cirrhosis can cause a range of complications, including high blood pressure, fluid buildup in the abdomen, and liver cancer. Additionally, alcohol can increase the risk of developing fatty liver disease, a condition in which excess fat accumulates in the liver and can cause inflammation and damage over time.
Finally, alcohol consumption can increase the risk of heart disease, despite the belief that moderate consumption can reduce the risk. Heavy drinking can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and an enlarged heart muscle. All of these factors can contribute to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
In conclusion, while drinking has become a common social activity, research suggests that any amount of alcohol consumption can increase the risk of premature death and several health conditions. While moderate alcohol consumption has been suggested to offer some health benefits, these benefits are outweighed by the risks of developing cancers, liver disease, and heart disease. To live a long and healthy life, it is important to avoid or at least minimize alcohol consumption and focus on a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits.