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To Drink Or Not To Drink?

17/09/2010 18:22 | Updated 22 May 2015

Stock.xchng, watjell

Health experts just can't make their minds up about alcohol, can they? There are countless studies on the subject: some say a moderate amount of alcohol is good for you while others say any benefits of boozing have been grossly overestimated and that, if you really want to be healthy, you should abstain altogether.

It's no wonder most people are confused.

So anyone who likes a tipple or two will be pleased to hear about the latest study - yes, sorry, another one - that has looked at the association between drinking alcohol over a 20-year period and found there are benefits. But only if you have one or two drinks a day.

Published in the rather sober-sounding journal, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the study suggests having a couple of drinks a day may help you live longer than if you drank no alcohol at all or if you drank more heavily.

So why might alcohol help you live longer?

Previous studies suggest moderate drinking makes you less likely to develop heart disease. Some studies curiously also claim people who drink are more likely to be active and get more exercise than non-drinkers.

Teetotalers are also more likely to be depressed than moderate drinkers, say scientists, while some researchers suggest having a little alcohol on a regular basis might even keep your weight down.

All of which suggests a little bit of what you fancy does do you good after all. So what are your thoughts on the not-so-demon drink?

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