A new study has quantified the lifespan-shortening effects of alcohol, finding that for every extra glass of wine or pint of beer over a certain limit, people lose 30 minutes of their life.
About half of the people in the study reported drinking more than 12.5 units of alcohol a week.
The study found that people who down more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less. There was no clear threshold below which alcohol consumption stopped being associated with these conditions, the researchers said. However, greater risks from other causes of death outweighed any advantage that might bring.
(For women, USA guidelines fall within these recommended amounts, at no more than 98 grams a week.) In Canada, guidelines recommend no more than 136 grams (4.8 ounces) per week for women, and no more than 204 grams (7 ounces) per week for men. Find out more about calculating units of alcohol.
The study "is a serious wake-up call for many countries", Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation said in a statement. The group partly funded the study, which was published Thursday by the Lancet journal.
Go over that and the report claims that life expectancy drops by five years.
They found that 12.5 units of alcohol a week, approximately five large beers or five glasses of wine, was the upper safe limit of drinking.
It's official, everyone: We're drinking too much booze, and it's cutting us short of precious life.
What kind of research was this?
The large size and design of this study make its findings more reliable and applicable to high-income countries around the world.
However, the studies analysed were all observational studies, as it wouldn't be ethical to carry out studies where some people were encouraged to drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol.
What did the research involve?
The researchers noted that the study tracked people's alcohol consumption for at least a year but did not examine the effect of alcohol consumption over a person's entire lifetime.
Scientists at Cambridge University from the United Kingdom has managed to calculate what dose of alcohol is safe for the human body and will not harm his health.
'We have 40 years of research, which shows light to moderate drinking equals improved cognitive function and memory in ageing as well as reduced chance of vascular dementia, ' said James Calder from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
And while the researchers did their best to account for a range of factors that could have affected the results, it's always hard to control for those completely.
The most people can get away with and not raise their risk of early death was about five glasses of wine a week or the equivalent, the researchers found.
"Drinking more may reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attack, but actually, let's balance that against the higher risk of stroke and other fatal cardiovascular diseases and shorter life expectancy", Wood said.
The study's recommendations are significantly less than what many countries recommend as an alcohol consumption limit.
A NEW GLOBAL health study of almost 600,000 drinkers has concluded that recommended weekly alcohol consumption should be lower than Ireland's current level.