Most of us enjoy the odd tipple after a long week on a Friday or a few drinks with friends at the weekend. And a research project has now suggested that moderate drinking could actually be beneficial when it comes to living a long life.
The 90+ Study, led by neurologist Claudia Kawas from the University of California, has analysed 1,700 nonagenarians and examined how their habits affect their health.
They discovered that those who enjoyed two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18% less likely to experience a premature death.
“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” said Kawas at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Austin, Texas.
Other things that helped people stay alive longer included doing 15 minutes of exercise a day and drinking two cups of coffee.
Bizarrely, the project even found that being slightly overweight - but not obese - helped increase longevity.
Prof Kawas added: “As you age your body tries to put weight on. This is different to saying obesity is a good thing,” according to The Mirror.
“But maybe as you get to 60 or 70 physiologically it’s a good thing to gain weight. The best mortality experience is to gain between five and 10 pounds per decade.
“Underweight people had a 50% increase in mortality. It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old.”
It’s pretty obvious but it should also be repeated that excessive alcohol consumption can be incredibly bad for your health. According to the NHS, the types of illness associated with too much booze include:
- cancers of the mouth, throat and breast
- heart disease
- liver disease
- brain damage
- damage to the nervous system
So please, we encourage you to enjoy a drink – but in moderation.
(Images: John Canelis / Quentin DR)