There have been so many studies about alcohol over the years that have become commonplace in our collective mind: Drinking red wine could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, for example.
But a new study in 2022 has come out with new data to support a more complicated picture of the risks of drinking alcohol. Here’s the newest info on drinking alcohol and how it affects your health.
A large study done in 2022 by MIT and Harvard has newer, larger-scale evidence that drinking alcohol alone doesn’t lower your heart health. In the study, participants who drank lightly or moderately did have a lower risk of heart disease. But what the study also found is that people who completely abstained from drinking had a greater risk of heart disease than those light to moderate drinkers. (Those who drank heavily had the highest risk.)
The study showed that light to moderate drinkers mostly have healthier habits overall, including eating more vegetables, exercising, and smoking less. The study recommended that light to moderate alcohol not be “prescribed” to reduce cardiovascular risk, as there is much more at play in lifestyle than just alcohol consumption.
This plays into the overall lifestyle trend of alcohol playing less of a role in American social lives. Younger consumers in general want to drink less, but don’t want to stop drinking altogether. Non-alcoholic beverages, spirits, seltzers, and aperitifs have hit the market in full force to try and satisfy this growing demographic.