There are drinkers who don’t care for their health and there are those who drink and argue that moderate alcohol consumption is healthy.
Now, a major study published in The Lancet journal says there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption as the harms will always outweigh the benefits, even in small amounts.
The study was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
The researchers investigated levels of alcohol consumption and health effects in 195 countries between 1990 to 2016.
After observing data on 28 million people worldwide, the researchers determined that considering the risks, there is “no safe level of alcohol”.
“The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally,” said senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
“We’re used to hearing that a drink or two a day is fine. But the evidence is the evidence.”
According to the research, alcohol led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016.
Those deaths include alcohol-related cancers and cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, intentional injury such as violence and self-harm, and traffic accidents, just to name a few.
The researchers noted some benefits of alcohol but still maintained that the side effects are far worse.
“We too found some protective effects for Type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease at low levels of alcohol consumption,” Gakidou said.
“But those benefits are outweighed by the overall adverse health impact of alcohol, even at moderate levels.”