This report supports an inquiry into current government alcohol guidelines. It recommends that current guidelines should be reviewed, with increased efforts on helping people understand and follow the guidelines.
It is refreshing to note that this report attempts to balance the abundant evidence concerning the harms brought about by excessive alcohol consumption with insights into the chronic diseases of aging for which moderate alcohol consumption offers a measure of protection. There are potential gains from light to moderate alcohol consumption in terms of reductions in he incidence of coronary heart disease, ischaemic stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia.
This report mentions evidence for the protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption for coronary heart disease, plus:
- Approximately a 30% reduction in risk for type 2 diabetes for moderate drinkers.
- Lower rates of osteoporosis and a lower risk of fractures in elderly moderate drinkers compared to abstainers.
- An association between moderate drinking and a significantly reduced risk of dementia in older people.
- How moderate drinking might be considered as a potentially important constituent of a “healthy lifestyle” and associated with less disability in later life and a lower risk of mortality.
House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (2012). Alcohol guidelines: eleventh report of session 2010-12. Eleventh Report of Session 2010–12. London: [The Stationery Office Limited: Great Britain] House of Commons, January 9th 2012. HC 1536.
Possibly of indirect interest:
Therrien, A. (2019). Beer before wine? It makes no difference to a hangover. London: BBC Health News, February 8th 2019.