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benefits-of-drinking-alcoholMore Reasons to Drink Alcohol... As If You Needed Them!

Recently in TIME Healthland, an article cited the many benefits of drinking alcohol.  Interestingly enough, the topic was featured in a "tweet chat" powered by Sears FitStudio, featuring many notable registered dietician and fitness experts sharing their favorite "go-to drinks".  "Beer at the ball game, wine while making dinner, and vodka on the rocks at a party" was one response of more than sixty conversations of on this question alone.

While many people are trying to reduce calories and drop a few pounds, it seems that skipping the cocktails may not be the only answer to losing weight.  And the health benefits of alcohol and having a glass or two of wine may actually help you live, longer, happier and healthier!

Drink to Prevent Breaking a Leg

Recent research published in the journal Menopause and led by Oregon State University, sought to examiner how alcohol might affect bone health for post-menopausal women.  All of the women had one-half to two standard drinks a day (most of the women preferred wine - no surprise to my girlfriends). A standard drink is 5-ounce glass of wine.  Drinkers were asked to tea total for two weeks to see if their blood markers changed without their daily drink.

Results were “There was a significant increase in the bone turnover markers osteocalcin and CTx when alcohol was excluded for 14 days,” as the author stated.  This means their bones were breaking down instead of strengthening over the two weeks.

However, when they resumed their daily drinking again, blood markers indicated a healthier level of formation and resorption markers. “Small but significant increases in [these chemicals] after short-term abstinence provides substantial evidence that moderate alcohol consumption decreases bone turnover.”

Drink to Lower Your Heart Attack Risk

According to a study in the Stroke Journal in 2009, "Drinking alcohol moderately may lower women's risk of stroke, according to a 26-year study of 84,000 women."
Women who drank about half of a glass of wine per day, on average — were 17 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to women that abstained from drinking alcohol.   Women who drank a glass of wine a day were around 20 percent less likely than their girlfriends who skipped imbibing. 

Drink to Live Longer

According to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, a mere trace of alcohol doubles the lifespan of a tiny worm in their laboratories. Clarke, the head researcher was excited with this finding and noted that it didn't take much booze to trigger what helps this critter live longer and although this tiny worm isn't the one at the bottle of Tequila, they are a great organism for testing things from drug lowering cholesterol to other statins.

Drink to Outlive the Non-Drinkers

In an article from Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research skipping the after dinner daily drink my tend to increase one's risk of dying.  Teatotallers (those who don't drink) have higher mortality rates than those of heavy drinkers. Moderate drinkers like our gals in menopause above, have been associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies.

Drink to Yourself

I don't know about you, but I feel more relaxed after a nice glass of cabernet sitting on the deck overlooking the city.  Sipping and enjoying the flavors and sweetness of a great glass of vino can be an amazing experience. 

Keep in mind moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability. I guess that means you should invite over friends!

For more on this study and other health tips, please visit Andrea Metcalf.  

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