No, there is no “best” alcoholic beverage for health.


No alcoholic drinks are harmful to health.

A study by Iñaka Galán, researcher at the National Epidemiological Center (CNE) of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), found that there is no evidence that drinking different alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer or spirits has different effects andn the emergence and development of cardiometabolic, neurodegenerative diseases or cancer.

“So, There is no evidence that “recommending” a particular alcoholic beverage can be associated with lower risks or potential health benefits“- said the experts, who recalled that the” best recommendation “is the complete absence of alcohol.

“There is a certain social tendency believe that certain types of alcoholic beverages may contribute to the proven global negative effects of alcohol consumption, some positive effect (eg polyphenols in wine are sometimes mentioned), ”Galan said.

In fact, studies have insisted that there is no positive attitude towards the use of alcohol for health and confirms that the use of a particular alcoholic beverage does not affect the possible health consequences or the risk of illness or death. In other words, according to research done in this regard, the consumption of wine, beer, spirits or mixed drinks is not associated with different effects on cardiometabolic, neurodegenerative diseases or cancer.

With this in mind, Galan asked for caution in the face of reports of “moderate consumption” of alcohol. “The best thing in terms of health safety is not to consume it. But if people drink alcohol, it is recommended not to exceed certain thresholds (not reaching 20 g / day in men and 10 g in women). The results show that it is impossible to ‘recommend’ a particular alcoholic beverage to control these thresholds or ‘moderate’ consumption, ”he explained.

The study, published in the Spanish Journal of Public Health, was conducted by searching PubMed (January 2000 to February 2019) of systematic reviews and meta-analyzes that reported quantitative results of the association between drinking different types of alcohol and the effects for health. Finally, the authors worked with 26 studies: 21 were associated with cancer, 3 with cardiometabolic diseases, 2 with neurodegenerative diseases, and one with all-cause mortality.

IN The results were mixed, so differential data was not possible. between alcoholic drinks. Certain variables (methodological differences in estimates of alcohol consumption, control of confounding effects, and contrasting estimates between types of drinks) made it very difficult to draw conclusions about possible unequal health effects.

For example, with regard to overall mortality and cardiometabolic disease, although some evidence suggests that beer and spirits may have a greater negative effect than wine, the differences were not statistically significant.

Finally, for cancer, for those types whose causal relationships with total alcohol consumption were completely consistent (oropharynx, colon and breast), reviews did not show a differentiated effect depending on the types of alcoholic drinks. With regard to neurodegenerative diseases, the available information also does not allow for unambiguous conclusions.

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