One Drink a Day Does the Trick
A beer or cocktail before dinner, or a glass of wine with it is fine, but any more than that eliminates any obvious health benefit, according to medical researchers.
Writing in The New England Journal of Medicine, American Cancer Society investigators described their study of 490,000 middle-age Americans. The authors said "overall death rates were lowest among men and women reporting about one alcoholic drink daily." They also noted that death rates "from all causes among those reporting four or more daily drinks exceeded the rates among nondrinkers."
Compared to women who do not drink, the rate of death from breast cancer was 30 percent higher for those reporting at least one daily drink. The researchers also said that men who drink regularly face a 30 percent higher risk of death from accidents or intentional injuries.
But overall, the daily-drink regimen appears to cut the risk of heart disease death. Researchers say that compared with those who do not drink alcohol, those who keep to a drink a day have a 20 percent lower risk of death from all causes.