To drink or not to drink? For decades, we have been receiving mixed messages about alcohol; a glass of red wine is great, one drink or two a day is fine. On the other hand, it has been widely reported that for men, more than four drinks a day or 14 per week is too much and more than three drinks a day or more than seven a week is too much for women.
So, what does the latest science say about drinking? How do we separate the hype from what is truly good reporting? How can we better evaluate and understand all of the information out there? One thing for sure is a person should evaluate all the different ideas and theories (at least several) and then decide how to proceed. Some studies have shown drinking is good for the heart, reduces stress and could lower the risk of certain cancers. Yet others have shown that alcohol can increase the risk of heart disease and potentially cause cancer.
A recent article sheds light on a study done in Germany during Oktoberfest. The researchers were looking into a condition called “holiday heart syndrome”, possibly caused by binge drinking during festivals and holidays. The study cautions people about binge drinking and the harm it can do to a person’s heart. The main thrust of most of this cautionary information is that if one does imbibe, use caution and drink sparingly. The reading also indicates that more in-depth studies need to take place to have a better understanding of the effects of alcohol.
Therefore, if you are on the fence on whether to give up this national pastime, then do your homework to figure out what is best for you. There is certainly plenty of information out there!! Unquestionably, this is a very personal decision. It is best to have a discussion with your medical professional before making any radical changes. In addition, it is undoubtedly a bad idea to overindulge in drinking and we all certainly are aware of all the negative consequences. There is the risk for serious injury, heart disease, alcoholism, and other devastating health issues. This is no new hype with regards to the potential problems alcohol can bring on. So, the question remains…to drink or not to drink?