How Much is Too Much Alcohol?

March 18, 2010

Alcohol and Health Risks

Alcoholic drinks, what is moderate alcohol consumption?

You might have heard that drinking in moderation can actually be healthy and over doing can put you at high health risks.

Here are some main points on alcohol intake:

Effects of drinking alcohol in large amount can increase your risks for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease (Cirrhosis)
  • Some forms of cancer such as breast, pancreas, mouth, esophagus

Moderate drinking may:

  • Lower your risk of developing heart disease and related conditions
  • Lower your risk of gallstones
  • Reduce your risk of diabetes or complications
  • May help you live longer

In general drinking in moderation means:

  • 2 drinks a day – for a male 65 and younger
  • 1 drink a day – for a female or a male 66 and older

In the US a standard drink is:

  • 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of can or regular bottled beer
  • 5 ounces (148 milliliters) glass of wine
  • 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) shot of liquor straight or in a mixed drink)

So, doe this mean you can save up your 1-2 alcohol drinks during the week and use them all up on weekends?  Sorry, moderation means moderate amount of alcohol intake at one time.
You should not drink alcohol if you are pregnant to avoid possible health risks to your unborn.

Check with your doctor and/or pharmacist if you’re taking medications such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antidepressants
  • Diabetes medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Beta blockers
  • Pain relievers
  • Sleeping pills

Final word:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation means 1-2 drinks per day.
  • Remember alcohol cannot be taken with many medications, check with your doctor/pharmacist.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks if you are pregnant.

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