In recent years, committing to a “Dry January” has become a popular way for some young people to start the new year.
But if you follow the rule of “moderation in all things,” as I always advise, there’s no real need—or point—to go “dry” in January.
In fact, doing so could ROB your body of three major health benefits…
Moderate imbibing protects against common eye problem
By the age of 80, more than half of all Americans will develop cataracts—a clouding of the eye lens that can interfere with vision, reading, and driving, especially at night.
What’s worse is that once you develop a cataract, having surgery is the only way to remove it.
But a new study found moderate alcohol intake can reduce your risk of ever developing this common condition in the first place…
For this new study, researchers tracked health and lifestyle factors among nearly half a million people in the U.K. They accounted for factors known to influence the cataract risk—including age, sex, weight, and chronic conditions, such as Type II diabetes.
It turns out, people who consumed about seven standard glasses of wine per week were less likely to require cataract surgery compared to those who completely abstained from alcohol.
Specifically, compared to abstainers, those who drank moderate, weekly amounts of:
- Red wine had up to a 23 percent lower risk.
- White wine and champagne had a 10 percent lower risk.
- Beer had a 13 percent lower risk.
- Spirits had a 14 percent lower risk.
Plus, those who consumed less than seven drinks per week still reaped some benefits…they were just less significant. Specifically, people who consumed any type of alcohol once or twice per week, or three to four times per week, had a 7 and 6 percent lower risk, respectively, compared to those who rarely or never drank.
Researchers think that antioxidants in alcoholic beverages, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, can help explain the benefits, since cataracts can result from gradual damage due to oxidative stress during aging. Red wine, specifically, seems to offer the most protection—which makes sense, as it contains more polyphenols than other types of alcoholic drinks.
But let’s not forget that moderate drinking of ANY kind (not just red wine) also supports healthy circulation throughout the body. And that directly benefits the brain and heart, as another recent study shows…
Moderate drinking also supports the brain and heart
For this second study, researchers with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) analyzed data on more than 53,000 people in their late 50s.
They sorted the participants into three groups:
- Abstainers (who drank less than one drink per week).
- Moderate drinkers (who consumed one to 14 drinks per week).
- Heavy drinkers (who consumed more than 14 drinks per week).
It turns out, moderate drinkers had a 27 percent lower risk of suffering a major cardiovascular event—such as a heart attack or stroke—compared to abstainers. In addition, they also had less stress-related brain activity.
In my view, these two, related findings make sense. Because, as I’ve always said, stress is the No. 1 hidden cause of cardiovascular disease. So, when someone drinks a moderate amount of alcohol…and it reduces their stress…they will, of course, also lower their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Kenechukwu Mezue, summed it up nicely when he said, “Moderate amounts of alcohol may have effects on the brain that can help you relax, reduce stress levels, and…lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease.” And, by the same token, you can also reduce your risk of developing other chronic diseases related to stress—such as arthritis, cancer, and Type II diabetes.
In the end, there’s no real reason to adopt a “Dry January” like the “hipsters.” Instead, feel good about enjoying a drink or two with dinner each night.
And it doesn’t have to be red wine! Drinking any kind of wine, beer, or spirit will help you reduce your cataract risk, your stress, and even your heart attack risk!
Of course, there are many other natural approaches to support your heart health in addition to enjoying some moderate alcohol. You can learn all about them in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more about this comprehensive online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!