Not As Good As Previously Thought?
Research has shown the benefits of moderate drinking for the elderly but more recent findings show that gender may play a role in just how healthy this practice is.
What Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption?
Moderate consumption is defined as two drinks for men, one for women, daily. And while many bars and restaurants ignore the actual size of these servings, medical practitioners stick to the following guidelines
- 12 oz beer
- 8-9 oz malt liquor
- 5 oz table wine
- 3-4 oz fortified wine
- 2-3 oz cordial, liquer, apertif
- 1.5 oz liquor (ie. shot)
What Are The Health Benefits of Moderate Consumption of Alcohol?
While each person’s personal physiology, propensity for addiction, lifestyle, prescribed medications and numerous other factors play a role, moderate consumption of official serving sizes has been shown to provide health benefits like:
- Improved memory including possible defense against Alzheimer’s
- Fighting Acne and Aging
The French Paradox
- Providing the same cardiovascular benefits as an hour of exercise
It’s the last one where we now may have to rethink our beliefs in the benefits of wine.
New Research On Wine And Elderly Drinkers Causes Concern
Traditionally, research has shown significant heart health benefits to moderate drinkers. The men and women tested, though, were middle-aged. This study, led by doctors from The United State’s Harvard University, focused on a new demographic: the average age of participants was 76.
Studies showed that drinking alcohol in this age group has a negative effect on the heart, or is cardiotoxic. Women are more susceptible to the dangers of drinking at an advanced age, but men were found to experience the same effects. Men who drank more than 2 drinks per day and women who had even one drink per day showed, through cardiac imaging, a weakening of the heart. Thus, the health benefits of wine exist, but must be taken into consideration with a number of other factors.
The best bet? Adults should discuss with their doctor whether or not they are healthy enough to drink moderately and whether or not they are at an age where they should begin to diminish or end their consumption.
*Nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice or guarantees of healthy alcohol consumption. Discuss with your doctor your risks and always drink safely.*