Moderate alcohol use would not be as bad for health as we think, provided it is associated with a diet based on the Mediterranean diet. Explanations.
A study showed a few months ago that moderate drinkers of alcohol were less affected by dementia than abstainers. Today, researchers say that the consumption of a glass of alcohol per day, associated with a Mediterranean diet, is rather good for health. The study, conducted by Italian and American researchers, is published in the journal Addiction.
One drink a day takes you away from the hospital
To carry out this research, 21,000 participants were followed for more than six years. Throughout this period, their alcohol consumption was monitored, as well as their number of hospitalizations. "We found that high alcohol consumption was associated with a higher likelihood of hospitalization, particularly for cancers or alcohol-related illnesses," says Simona Costanzo, lead author of the study.
She continues: "This confirms the harmful effect of excessive alcohol consumption on health, while those who drink in moderation have a lower risk of hospitalization for all diseases". The researchers also found that moderate drinkers went to the hospital less than former drinkers, but also those who do not drink at all!
A public health problem
Excessive drinking is primarily a danger to people. Every year, three million people die in the world. That's one in twenty deaths, according to the World Health Organization. According to her, more than 200 diseases are linked to alcohol: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis ... But this also represents a public health issue, especially for institutions that welcome and treat patients.
The researchers in the study see moderate drinking as a way to lower the death rate. This should encourage more policy measures in this direction. Provided that the diet of the population is balanced, especially thanks to the Mediterranean diet, consisting of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, whole grains and little meat and dairy products. The Mediterranean diet is beneficial - among others - for the liver, intestine and heart.