With just one or two alcoholic beverages per night, the risk of having a stroke at a later age increases considerably, according to a major study.
Experts from the University of Oxford said their study of 500,000 people is finally the & # 39; myth & # 39; Dispel that drinking light protects health.
They found that one or two drinks a day increased the risk of stroke by 10 to 15 percent over the next ten years, and four drinks a day by 35 percent.
For many years, many experts have argued that moderate alcohol consumption has a protective effect – suggesting studies that showed that a single glass of wine or pint of beer reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
But critics claim that those studies were flawed – because they included alcoholics who have become total or people who do not get drunk because of other health problems.
Experts from the University of Oxford said their study of 500,000 people finally had the & # 39; myth & # 39; Dispel that drinking light protects health
So the evidence seemed to suggest that light drinkers were at a lower risk than those who drank nothing at all.
The new study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, solved this problem by using a genetic study of people in China.
A third of the people in China wear a genetic whim, which means that they cannot tolerate alcohol.
Their genes mean that they do not have the ability to clear up a toxic by-product of alcohol, causing them to become nauseous and red after a small drink.
The researchers tested the genes of people in ten parts of China – and then followed their alcohol consumption.
Those who did not drink because of their genetic mutation were assessed as a reliable marker of zero alcohol consumption, because they simply could not tolerate the drink.
The other two thirds of the participants who did not share the same genetic quirks could drink freely – and the men drank an average of four drinks a day and had a much greater risk of high blood pressure and strokes.
BEER BEFORE WINE IS NOT FINE, SCIENTISTS SEARCH
Beer for wine and you'll feel good, the tactical tippler thinks – but the old saying seems to be a myth.
In a less than surprising revelation, researchers found last month that hangovers are just as bad, regardless of the order in which you drink.
Scientists gave alcoholic drinks to 90 volunteers in different combinations in a laboratory experiment on two separate nights.
Some were asked to drink two and a half liters of Carlsberg, followed by four large glasses of white wine. A second group started with wine for the beer.
Researchers had to control the drunken participants, who sang and danced, with a megaphone. They were sent to bed in the lab at 1 am & # 39;
Participants were asked about their hangover the next day and gave a score on a so-called Acute Hangover Scale.
The findings, led by a team from Cambridge University, indicated that no matter how you order your drinks, if you drink too much, you are probably still sick.
Dr. Kai Hensel, one of the researchers, said: & # 39; The set-aside rate was slightly higher than I thought. But they enjoyed it. & # 39;
Chinese women drank very little, regardless of their genetic makeup.
But researcher Professor Richard Peto, co-director of the Clinical Trial Service Unit at Oxford University, said he was confident that the findings applied to British men and women.
& # 39; If women drink like men, they die like men & he said.
He stressed that the findings were not meant to keep people from drinking – and said that smoking would have a much greater impact on risk.
Sir Richard said: & I don't think people will change what they drink because of these results.
& # 39; But we have the truth about a story that has been a myth for centuries. & # 39; Study leader prof.dr. Zhengming Chen, also from Oxford, said: & # 39; Moderate drinking is said to be potentially beneficial, especially for cardiovascular disease.
& # 39; This study shows really robust evidence that refutes this claim. The most important message is that this protective effect is not real.
& # 39; Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of stroke … & # 39; He added: & # 39; The findings for a heart attack were less clear, so we intend to gather more evidence. & # 39; The study supports official drinking guidelines issued by chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies in 2016, who warned that there is no & # 39; safe & # 39; drinking level.
Leading scientists who were initially critical of that guidance said they might change their mind in light of the new findings.
David Spiegelhalter, Professor of Public Understanding of Risks at Cambridge University, said: “I have always been reasonably convinced that moderate alcohol consumption was protective of cardiovascular disease, but now I have my doubts. & # 39;
He added: “This is a very impressive study showing that men who happen to have a combination of genes that do not drink alcohol have a lower risk of stroke than those without these genes.
& # 39; The fact that this is not true for Chinese women, who tend not to drink whatever their genes, suggests that this effect is due to the alcohol rather than the genes themselves. & # 39; He added: & # 39; The increase in the total risk of stroke was about 38 percent for every 40 g of alcohol drunk per day; that is five British units, or more than half a bottle of wine.
& # 39; To give this perspective a bit, it is about the opposite effect of taking a statin. & # 39;
The NHS recommends that adults drink no more than 14 units per week – that's 14 single shots of spirit or six pints of beer or a bottle and half a wine
DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REMOVE YOUR RISK
A screening tool that is widely used by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Identification Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the 10-question test is considered the gold standard to help determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.
The test has been reproduced here with the permission of the WHO.
To complete it, answer each question and note the corresponding score.
0-7: You are within the reasonable drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
More than 8: State harmful or hazardous drinking.
8-15: Average risk level. Drinking at your current level carries the risk that you will have problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting (see below for tips).
16-19: Higher risk of complications due to alcohol. Self-clearing can be difficult at this level because you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your doctor and / or a caregiver.
20 years and older: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems and you may well depend on it. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reducing your alcohol consumption. You should seek professional help to determine your dependence level and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.
Serious dependence may require a medically assisted admission or detox in a hospital or a specialized clinic. This is due to the risk of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours that require specialist treatment.