Alcohol does have health benefits

By Dr Harold Gunatillake

It is known that drinking alcohol moderately has its benefits without over-indulging. Moderate drinking is defined as two drinks daily for a man and one drink for a woman. Quantity-wise one drink is equivalent to one bottle of beer, one glass of wine or a small shot of spirits. Spirits like Scotch whiskey you request for a shot/35ml. It has 78 calories: has no proteins, carbs, fat, fibre and alcohol content is 11.1. A 100g of Scotch has 222 calories and 31.7 alcohols.

Alcohol in low doses dilates arteries and lowers blood pressure. Alcohol is a blood thinner and reduces blood’s tendency to clot. These two factors alone reduce the chances of heart disease and angina.

Alcohol also increases the good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood, and red wines do lower LDL cholesterol.

Alcohol can reduce the incidence of stroke for the same reason. Thinning of the blood reduces the risks of the ischemic type of stroke. In older people bleeding from a ruptured brain vessel causes a stroke. In such events, alcohol will worsen in case of a stroke.

Antioxidants and high resveratrol content and pro-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory properties in red wine seem to have cardiovascular benefits.

Talking about beer it is packed with B vitamins, riboflavin (B2) and thiamine. It also has high levels of magnesium and calcium In 2015, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that a compound found in beer called xanthohumol could protect brain cells from damaging, thus slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

When you can’t sleep on occasions due to stress and mental worries an alcoholic drink will relax you and make you sleep. Alcohol is contraindicated for chronic insomnia. Sleep after consuming an alcoholic drink is short-lived and when you wake up may find it difficult to continue the sleep till morning.

A glass of red wine could help you with your weight loss efforts. This is a true observation when you know those friends who indulge in wine drinking on a daily basis, the reason being that red wine has a chemical called ellagic acid. This chemical seems to slow down the growth of fat cells and stops new ones from being created.

People who drink wines regularly do not get colds often. This is because the antioxidants in red wine can help you reduce your risk of a cold.

A recent study and even Copenhagen trials on 13,000 people have proved that people who drink alcohol regularly may actually live longer than those who are tee-total. Abstaining from drinking alcohol completely have a high mortality rate than others while moderate drinkers, who consume one to two drinks per day, have the lowest mortality.

Conclusions: A glass of red wine daily wins, but if you want to keep your brain cells healthy a beer daily visiting the local pub and socializing with mates benefits.