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Home / Articles / Columnists / Fitness by Larisa /  Alcohol and your Health
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Monday, October 9,2017

Alcohol and your Health

By Larisa Klein  

Scientific research suggests that people who drink alcohol in moderation can lower their risk of death by 25% when compared with those who do not drink. However, excessive consumption can lead to addiction, accidents and many other health problems. While some studies suggest benefits associated with consumption, other research shows that even small amounts increases the risk for colon and breast cancer. In addition, the research on the benefits of alcohol consumption are from long-term observations rather than clinical trials which are more reliable. The (AHA) American Heart Association, in fact does not recommend drinking to gain the suspected heart benefits; it suggests that there are better ways to improve the cardiovascular system.

The AHA noted at least 60 studies that showed moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of heart attack, diabetes, osteoporosis, dementia and stroke. On the flip side, two drinks a day increase risk for oral cancers by 75%, for esophageal cancer by 51%, and for colon cancer by 8%. Women increase their risk of breast cancer by 30% with even small amounts of alcohol. Therefore, family history matters when considering alcohol.

Since the research is there, should a doctor recommend alcohol consumption to a patient given the benefits? If a drug was known to improve a condition, wouldn’t a doctor be ethically motivated to inform the patient? Other drugs that doctors recommend come with a long list of potential side effects, so why not alcohol with such relatively few and less dangerous ones? Problems arise because we do not know exactly who would become addicted, for whom the risks would outweigh the benefits, and what is a healthy quantity.

As mentioned above, family history can be of help. In addition, the Southern Medical Journal came up with the optimal amount of consumption based on major studies of nurses and 88,000 doctors. The maximum benefit with minimum risk happens at one half to one serving of alcohol a day. But such a small amount begs the question of whether people can moderate themselves to that extent.

As far as the benefits go, could it be that the suspected health benefits may also come from the simple act of relaxing or having a laugh with a friend while also having the drink? Could we find other ways to relax, enjoy, and obtain the same benefits without the alcohol?


Larisa Klein • Wellness Achieved Studios • 3000 E Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33308 • www.wellnessachieved.com • 954-600-9828 Larisa has been training in Yoga, Pilates, and functional weight training for 20 years since. 1997. She has extensive experience working with cancer survivors, people with various physical special conditions (joint/spinal injuries/operations/replacements/MS/etc.), internal special conditions (schizophrenia, drug/alcohol addictions) as well as triatheletes and Olympians. She is a black belt with full competition experience, a current practitioner of Kung Fu, and has an MA in Mathematics and a second BS in Alternative Medicine.


 

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