How Is Alcohol Beneficial For Your Health?

Let me be clear at the beginning that I don’t drink alcohol and find no good reason to start. And I am writing this article out of my curiosity to find the benefits of alcohol if any.

The first thing I found about alcohol is that it is the seventh leading risk factor for deaths globally (Lancet Study 2018).

Lancet Study 2018

I read the study completely and here I’m sharing a screenshot to support the claim.

Also, I heard Alana Kessler, RD, a functional and holistic nutrition and wellness expert, talking to The expert gave a piece of thoughtful advice to people who drink alcohol to avoid feelings, or out of their boredom. She cautioned them to be mindful of their motivations for drinking. She said that engaging in another healthier activity or calling a friend could be more beneficial.

Do you know how your body metabolizes alcohol?

The alcohol goes to your liver but it can metabolize only a small amount of it at a time. The excess alcohol is left to get a free run throughout your body and affects it in negative ways like impairing your vision, judgment, motor skills, and memory. But it can uplift your mood if taken in small amounts.

So, alcohol is good for health but only when taken in an appropriate amount. And how much alcohol should you take in a day, depends on your age and overall health

Alcohol can help improve health when taken in moderation or in small amounts. Here I’m listing the top health benefits of alcohol.

  1. Boosts Your Heart Health

Mayo Clinic

Here I want to quote the Mayo Clinic which found red wine good for the heart. Red wine contains polyphenols called resveratrol that is linked to controlling heart condition. Kessler said that the flavonoids and antioxidants were good for the heart and the blood vessels.

  1. Lowers Risk Of Diabetes

American Journal of Public Health

If you read the September 2016 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, you will also believe that alcohol can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes substantially. Scientific Reports journal where peers publish their reviews found in a 12-year follow-up August 2017 study that moderate intake of alcohol could have protective effects.

  1. Prevents Chronic Diseases
Nutrients November 2019 review

Again it is red wine that is more beneficial for health. It contains polyphenols that are linked to the prevention of chronic diseases due to oxidative stress (Nutrients November 2019 review). Also, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition makes a similar claim in its May 2012 study that highlighted the probiotic benefits of red wine. It is good for gut-friendly bacteria.

  1. Beer Is Helpful For Gut

Beer is a fermented beverage with a rich amount of polyphenols like ferulic acid, xanthohumol, catechins, epicatechins, and proanthocyanidins and these elements are found to be beneficial for the gut microbiome in a November 2019 study in Metabolites.


The American Journal of Public Health said in a review that drinking 5 grams of alcohol every day lowers the risk of symptomatic gallstones by 40%. But I don’t find any other report or review to support this claim.

  1. Prevents Gallstones

Here I conclude the advantages of drinking alcohol with the point that you should drink alcohol in moderation to have all these benefits. Also, I start counting the health risks of alcohol.

The World Journal of Gastroenterology
  1. Red wine is beneficial for your heart but excessive drinking of alcohol of any brand could lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart failure.
  2. The World Journal of Gastroenterology in its October 2014 review said that alcoholic drinks with ethanol can damage the esophagus, intestine, and stomach. Also, alcohol can cause fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis adds Kessler.
  3. Research by the American Cancer Society links alcohol to cancers including breast, liver, and colon cancer. Pharmacological Research linked alcohol with the growth, progression, and aggressiveness of tumors in its January 2017 study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that alcohol can increase the risk of colon cancer in people with a family history of colon cancer in its January 2012 study.American Cancer Society
  4. Drinking too much can pack you with more calories leading to weight gain found the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). One shot of liquor contains around 97 to 116 calories but it increases to 120 to 165 calories with caloric mixers.U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)
  5. Dehydration is a common condition experienced with too much alcohol. Excess alcohol triggers urine production resulting in the draining of water content from the body that leads to dehydration. You could lose more water if you develop diarrhea or start vomiting.
  6. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to nutritional deficiency especially thiamine, folate, and magnesium. Alcohol blocks the absorption of B vitamins and depletes magnesium leading to deficiency in those who are already deficient in the said vitamins.
  7. Alcoholism can cause pregnancy and birth problems in expectant mothers. Children born to alcoholic mothers could experience developmental delays or develop other problems like vision or hearing problems.
  8. Binge drinking can lead to alcohol dependence which could make your life difficult. You will continue drinking alcohol despite having problems with your cognitive ability or dehydration. Without alcohol, you will experience symptoms like nausea, sweating, and shaking.
  9. While a mild dose of alcohol could help control stress, drinking alcohol in an excessive amount could make things worse. The University at Buffalo links excessive alcohol with depression. Alcohol fuels negative emotions that lead to depression including suicidal thoughts.
  10. Hangover is also a disadvantage of alcohol. While it is temporary but I feel that I must mention it as a health risk because it leads to medical conditions like severe headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, rapid heartbeat, vomiting accompanied by stomach pain, and dizziness.
Alcohol Beneficial For Your Health


Everything has its pros and cons and alcohol is no exception to this rule. But I believe that drinking alcohol is a little bit riskier as you never know how the drink is affecting your body and mind. Now I leave the decision of whether to start drinking alcohol or not to you.


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