In many cases when alcohol is mentioned, it is mentioned alongside words like abstinence, liver cirrhosis, and other health complications. What most people forget to disclose is that when taken in moderate quantities, it can have amazing benefits to one’s health and wellbeing. Anything in excess is dangerous. Even fruits which are quintessentially associated with great health can have negative health effects if they are consumed in excess. The same goes for alcohol. When consumed moderately it has amazing benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease, great mental health, prevention against the common cold, warding off dementia and improving sexual function and libido. Take a look below, for more information
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
When taken in moderation, it has been proved that alcohol may help reduce one’s risk of contracting cardiovascular illnesses. A study conducted by the School of Public Health at Harvard University found that moderate consumption of alcohol raises the levels of a protein known as the high-density lipoprotein. In colloquial terms, the high-density lipoprotein also known as HDL is referred to as ‘good cholesterol’. Higher levels of HDL are generally associated with more protection against heart disease. Other factors that make alcohol a defense against heart disease are the fact that it provides better sensitivity to insulin and improves the elements that help in blood clotting. These, in turn, prevent blocked arteries, which is the most common cause of many heart attacks.
Great Mental Health
A report done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that moderate consumption of alcohol could lead to an increase in overall happiness, euphoria, pleasant and carefree feelings in consumers. A paper published by the University of Edinburgh’s Psychiatry Department showed that moderate consumption of alcohol may help decrease cognitive decline in older people. Because alcohol is also known to lift moods and alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety, moderate consumption may actually maintain great mental health.
Can Help You Stay Cold Free
A study conducted in Southern California revealed that surprisingly, moderate consumption of alcohol may be part of the solution to fighting colds. Ilhem Messaoudi an associate professor at the University of California (Riverside) led a team that conducted research on monkeys. They injected all of them with a cold vaccine and divided them into three categories. One category was allowed to consume alcohol at will, the other was allowed to consume moderately while the third was forced to abstain. Surprisingly, the test-group that consumed alcohol moderately responded better to the cold vaccine. A study done in 1993 by the Department of Psychology at Mellon University showed similar findings. It found that moderate alcohol consumption leads to less susceptibility to colds. Moreover, a finding published in the New York Times stated that taking 8-14 glasses of red wine per week may lead to a 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold.
Reduce Chances of Developing Dementia
A study published in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment journal showed that those who consume alcohol moderately are 23% less likely to develop dementia. Edward J. Neafsey, P.H.D, one of the co-authors of the study says that, lesser quantities of alcohol creates tension in cells making them resistant to damage down the road that may lead to dementia.
Can Improve Sexual Function and Libido
Research done at the University of Western Australia found that moderate consumption of alcohol may decrease erectile dysfunction in men. In the study, it was found that moderate consumption led to a 25-30% decrease! Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that moderate consumption of alcohol heightens sexual desire in women. Anti-oxidants found in alcohol cause nitric oxide production in the blood, which relaxes artery walls allowing blood to flow to reproductive organs.
When taken responsibly and in moderate amounts, alcohol has many amazing and surprising benefits. The list above is not conclusive as there are many more amazing benefits of consuming alcohol in moderation. Turns out that a bottle or two of beer with a meal may prove to be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle!