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What possible health benefits are there with drinking alcohol in moderation?

The other day, I was reading the St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy where Paul had recommended that Timothy take a little wine for the sake of his stomach.

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. - 1 Timothy 5:23

This got me thinking that there could be some possible health benefits of consuming alcohol in moderation, whether it be wine, beer or some other stronger drink?

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  • There are lots of hits on Google with the search phrase “health benefits wine”. Red wine in particular.
    – Eric S
    Oct 13 '20 at 22:18
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This might sound strange on alcohol.SE, but "to thine own self be true".

Studies that show that not drinking is less healthy do it because the "teetotalers" are, often enough, former alcoholics.

Skeptics SE has several threads about the "benefits" of moderate drinking:

This article by The Guardian examines the flaws of those studies that show moderate drinking to be beneficial:

Never drinkers are also different in a lot of ways, mostly bad, which makes sense if you think about the why people might choose to abstain from drinking – for example, illness, poverty, and previous alcoholism.

The article also reviews a couple of recent studies that show that moderate alcohol consumption is not beneficial.

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  • Skeptics is my favorite SE site because of the quality of the answers.
    – Eric S
    Nov 30 '20 at 17:09
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My Grandmother drank one glass of red wine nightly with dinner. Shes in her 90s and fit as a fiddle. Red wine is great for your heart, it also lowers bad cholesterol!

Red Wine and Grape Juice

Alcohol may raise levels of good HDL cholesterol by as much as 5 to 15 percent, research shows — and red wine is particularly beneficial because its polyphenol antioxidants may also lower LDL levels. If you’re not into vino, grape juice can provide some of the same heart-healthy benefits.

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What possible health benefits are there with drinking alcohol in moderation?

First of all, let us define what drinking in moderation is.

Caveat: This question deals only with possible health benefits! There remains always some risks in drinking alcohol even moderately, which I am not dealing with here.

Defining moderate

Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

Examples of one drink include:

  • Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)

  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)

  • Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)

Eating a healthy diet and being physically active also has a great impact on one’s health benefits. So any moderate drinking should been seen in light of one’s general way of life at the time.

Some possible health benefits of moderate drinking are:

  • Reducing your risk of developing and dying of heart disease (1)
  • Possibly reducing your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow) (1)
  • Possibly reducing your risk of diabetes (1)
  • Red Wine Can Actually Burn Fat (2)
  • Alcohol Can Help Fight Colds (2)
  • Red Wine is Beneficial to Your Heart (2)
  • Drinking Moderately Can Improve Sexual Function in Men (2)
  • And for Women, It Offers Libido-Boosting Powers (2)
  • Red Wine Can Boost Your Memory (2)
  • Wine Can Make You Live Longer (2)
  • Vino Can Boost Your Vaccine's Effects (2)
  • White Wine Is Weight-Loss Friendly (2)
  • A Glass of Cabernet Could Enhance Your Workout (2)
  • Beer Has Vitamins (2)
  • Beer Lowers Heart Attack Risks in Women (2)
  • Like Wine, Vodka Is Also Heart-Friendly (2)
  • Whisky Can Help a Sore Throat (2)

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