For some people, like those with an addiction, any amount of alcohol is too much. For others, drinking is something of a balancing act – a little may be healthful, while more than a little may be harmful.
The Harvard Medical School recently released a study that analyzed the drinking habits of middle-aged individuals and the health effects (positive or negative) it could have on the body.
In people who can physically, mentally, and emotionally tolerate alcohol, moderate drinking has been lined to lower risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Moderate drinking means no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one for women.
Consuming more than those amounts can have drastic effects on one’s health. Heavy drinking increases the risk of developing some cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure and cirrhosis.
In fact, the medical journal Neurology highlights the effects of excessive drinking on men, including effects on memory. They compared men who didn’t drink to those who consumed more than two drinks a day. It was discovered that mental decline began to appear one to six years earlier in men who averaged more than 2.5 drinks a day.
While this is only one example, there are several other tests and resources available to determine if you daily habit could be harming your heath. Rethinking Drinking is a website that provides valuable information on the subject and even features a cocktail calculator to help determine how strong your cocktail is.
If you seek additional advice and encouragement, talk to your primary physician. They could refer you to an alcoholism counselor. Identifying a drinking problem early on will not only save your health but will also save you money on your life insurance premium.