Is Alcohol Good for Me?

Is Alcohol Good for Me?
Alcohol can be a disease-fighter in moderation, but drinking too much poses a long list of health threats. If you’re a woman and you enjoy alcoholic beverages, one per day is the max, while men should have no more than two (one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor). Drinking within these limits may lower your risk for several diseases, including the following:

What Alcohol Can Help

Heart disease. Moderate drinking cuts the risk for heart attacks by 30 to 50 percent.

Alcohol raises HDL cholesterol — the good kind — by about 12 percent, makes blood less likely to clot, and has other heart-friendly qualities. Any type of alcohol helps, but some research suggests that wine protects the heart better than beer and liquor. That may be because wine, particularly red varieties, contains a potent antioxidant called resveratrol.

• Strokes. Researchers have also found that up to two drinks per day may slash in half the risk for ischemic strokes, the most common type, which occur when arteries that feed blood to the brain become blocked.

• Diabetes. People who drink small amounts of alcohol are more likely to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, research suggests. A Harvard study found that men who had one or two drinks per day cut their risk for type 2 diabetes by 36 percent.

• Dementia. Compared with abstainers, people who drink alcohol are 34 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and nearly 50 percent less likely to be diagnosed with other forms of dementia, such as those caused by diseased blood vessels. It’s not clear why drinking guards against dementia, though it may be alcohol’s capacity to maintain healthy blood flow to the brain.

What Alcohol Can Cause

• Liver disease. Between 10 and 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, a serious condition caused as healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue.

• Cancer. Drinking alcohol has been linked to many forms of this disease, including cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, colon, rectum, and, in women, breast. As for the latter, a 2009 study determined that alcohol abuse may be responsible for up to 11 percent of all breast cancer cases.

• Obesity. Wonder where beer bellies come from? Each can of ale or lager contains about 150 calories. A glass of Cabernet will set you back 127 calories.

• High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, cutting back on booze could produce a small but significant drop of 2 to 4 mm Hg systolic (the top number) and 1 to 2 mm Hg diastolic (the bottom number).

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

3 thoughts on “Is Alcohol Good for Me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy