Moderate alcohol intake may not be the protective agent that the alcohol industry keeps claiming it was, according to a new study from Australia.
The widely accepted belief that a small amount of alcohol is good for human health is based on flawed studies and should be urgently withdrawn, an analysis of the research has revealed.
At a major conference in Perth, Australia, leading alcohol researcher Tanya Chikritzhs presents research results that show that the evidence for alcohol’s claimed health benefits was significantly weaker than thought.
Professor Chikritzhs, from the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University:
There is growing likelihood that widespread bias and confounding … epidemiological literature has underpinned spurious protective associations, warranting an urgent repositioning of the status of ‘moderate’ alcohol use as a protective agent for health.”
The observational studies that made the link were less reliable and since they were carried out, the science had evolved to
… increasingly cast serious doubt on the veracity of the protective hypothesis…
The evidence has got to be really strong in my mind before you start recommending people do something for health and the evidence is becoming weaker.
If there is a protective effect, it has been overestimated and is smaller than we thought. If it exists, you can probably get the same effect from drinking grape juice, without the downsides.”