How Much Is Too Much to Drink?

Health officials say not drinking is ultimately the safest for your health, but most people can drink alcohol safely within limits.  Guidelines on how much is too much continue to shift, but a recent study has been grabbing attention. People who drank more than 100 grams of alcohol per week have a greater risk of premature death, according to the study published in The Lancet medical journal. The 2018 report found that people who drank more than 100 grams of alcohol per week had increased risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease and fatal aortic aneurysm.

Some U.S. news reports say 100 grams of pure alcohol would be the equivalent of about six glasses of wine, but how many ounces of wine go into that glass? You would need to be cognizant of how big your glasses of wine are.

Rely on the American Heart Association

You can also check out the American Heart Association guidelines that recommend alcohol in moderation. They say it’s less than or equal to one drink per day for women and one to two drinks per day for men. The AHA defines one drink as four ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or one ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Here’s why you want to rely on the American Heart Association basic guidelines, although we should pay heed to The Lancet study as well. If you want to translate 100 grams of alcohol recommended for your weekly wine consumption, you’ll end up consulting a number of charts from countries that don’t agree on glass sizes. You’ll try to translate wine bottles containing 750 ml into standard drink units per bottle in order to figure 10 grams of alcohol per standard drink.

Just a little more than one bottle

By now you may be both confused and bored. Trust me on this one. The American Heart Association guidelines add up to 28 ounces of wine each week as safe for women. That’s a tad more than the 25.4 ounces in one bottle of wine. Trying to wrest a few more ounces out of international calculations on standard drink units will only bring you back to the AMA’s bottom line.

The safe amount of wine for women is a smidge more than one bottle per week. And don’t binge that bottle all on one wild Saturday night. Plenty of scientific studies warn us to spread drinking throughout the week.

There’s plenty of reason to pay attention to warnings to limit drinking alcohol. Drinking more alcohol increases such dangers as binge drinking and alcoholism, suicide and accidents. Health risks include high blood pressure, obesity, stroke and breast cancer. While drinking in moderation is safe for most individuals, scientists haven’t figured out how to predict who is going to have a problem with alcohol and alcoholism. That’s why health experts caution against ever starting to drink alcohol if you don’t already.

And none at all if you’re pregnant

People with certain medical conditions and pregnant women should avoid alcohol completely. Research has shown no level of alcohol use during pregnancy is safe. Many studies have concluded that alcohol use during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and cognitive and developmental problems.

Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable birth defects, developmental disabilities, and mental retardation in the United State, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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