Alcohol: Dangerous or Healthy for Women?
If you’re making a toast to your sweetheart, yourself or the good things in your life this month, then, with all the conflicting studies on the topic, you might wonder whether that glass of alcohol is more healthy or harmful to you. And the answer is: It depends. Alcohol affects women differently than men, even at low levels, and excess alcohol consumption over time can lead to greater addiction as well as high blood pressure, strokes, drinking and driving accidents, liver damage and certain kinds of cancer, including breast cancer. On the other hand, women who drink about one glass a day (which equates to five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of liquor) reported better physical and mental health as they aged, according to a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health. Likewise, moderate alcohol consumption can reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease, improve healthy cholesterol levels and lower risk of gallstones and perhaps even diabetes. Nevertheless, no study proves that moderate drinking will lead to improved health, since many other factors play into the aging process.
Essentially, the science concludes that one drink a day for women and two for men can be healthy, however, anyone under age 21, women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, those who can’t drink moderately and anyone taking medications that may interact with alcohol should avoid drinking. If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption, talk with your doctor or a trained professional about the best resources for you.