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Does drinking alcohol in moderation improve health?

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Previous studies have suggested that drinking alcohol in moderation may promote cardiovascular health, lower the risk of diabetes or stave off dementia. But some researchers have criticized the studies, saying they fail to prove a causal relationship between alcohol and health and merely show that moderate drinking is something healthy people tend to do.

A story published this weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the growing body of research on the potential health benefits of moderate drinking. In the article, Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, offers his perspective on those findings showing that moderate drinking may help you live a longer, healthier life:

If you're looking to reduce your risk of a stroke or heart attack, take a baby aspirin a day. It's more effective than alcohol and there's no risk of addiction... These studies on the health benefits just let those of us who like a glass of wine now and then justify it.

Previously: Is wine good for the heart?
Photo by Aldo Gonzalez

From December 20 to January 3, Scope will be on a limited holiday publishing schedule. During that time, you may also notice a delay in comment moderation. We will return to our regular schedule on January 3.

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