One Drink A Day Now Considered "Low Risk"

Booze use can still kill you but just one a day may not increase your risk of alcohol-related disease says Professor.

Okay so do you want the good news or the bad news?

In August this year, researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington ruled that there is no safe level of alcohol, with lead author of the study Max Griswold saying that alcohol use is more likely to do harm, despite separate research showing that light to moderate drinking reduces heart disease.

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According to that study, even an occasional glass of wine or beer increases the risk of health problems and dying, according to a major study on drinking in 195 nations that attributes 2.8 million premature deaths worldwide each year to booze.

But now -- in what can only be described as "kind of" good news for booze lovers -- an advisor to the World Health Organisation has spoken, and while he agrees that alcohol is a killer, he says that if you limit yourself to just one a day, you actually run a low-risk of developing alcohol-related diseases.

Well, that could be cause for a mild hurrah... even a mini cheer?

Professor Jurgen Rehm agrees that there's no totally safe level of alcohol consumption, but while speaking about ways to curb binge drinking, suggested one daily drop is considered "low-risk".

That means one 100ml glass of wine, or one beer only, mind you.

In fact, the rules are incredibly strict -- with a "binge" defined as five units of alcohol for women, for example, and just 175ml containing two units.

So you do the math.

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Professor Rehm who is senior director at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research in Canada, also suggested that upping the price of booze could help with the number of  alcohol related deaths. This came after the "pretty great success" of pricing restrictions in countries such as Russia, where it reduced consumption among binge drinkers and those with a dependency on alcohol.

Drink-related accidents, injuries, violence and public disorder also go down with increases of minimum pricing, he said.

In terms of drinking more than one a day, the news is still pretty grim. "Overall, the health risks associated with alcohol rose in line with the amount consumed each day." said the August study.

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An average of two drinks per day, for example, translated into a seven percent hike in disease and injury compared to those who drink nothing.

And with those  five "units" of alcohol per day, the likelihood of serious consequences jumps by 37 percent. And the risk is very real -- with about a third of alcohol-related deaths from cancer.

Time to limit the rosé to just one glass this Festive Season, and be safe out there.