New study shows that moderate drinking may benefit more than just your heart.
Those of you who aren’t wine drinkers may feel like you’re getting the short shrift when it comes to the health benefits of alcohol…but the latest research suggests that there may be even bigger benefits to drinking — and you can reap the rewards no matter WHAT your favorite happy hour special may be.
According to this study from UCLA, light to moderate consumption of alcohol — of ANY sort — can reduce your risk of developing a physical disability. In other words, having a few drinks a day may actually keep you out of a nursing home! (Or, at the very least, it could help you avoid a dignity-robbing situation where you need help to carry out basic, everyday functions like walking — and even getting dressed.)
The study included 4,276 people and considered "light to moderate" drinkers as those who consumed fewer than 15 drinks per week. Those who consumed more were considered "heavy drinkers." And those who drank fewer than 12 drinks per year were labeled "abstainers." The researchers tracked the subjects for five years and found that:
"Light to moderate drinkers had a 17.7 percent chance of becoming disabled or dying in five years, compared with 26.7 percent for abstainers and 21.4 percent for heavy drinkers. Among survivors, the risk for new disability was 12.5 percent for light to moderate drinkers, compared with 20 percent for abstainers and 15.6 percent for heavy drinkers."
There is one catch, though. The health benefits only applied to the light-to-moderate drinkers who were already in good health at the outset of the study. The good news is, even if you’re not quite there yet, following the advice Dr. Wright lays out each month in Nutrition & Healing will help you reach that goal. And it’s nice to know that toasting that newfound health will take you even further.
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