1-2 alcoholic drinks a day may shorten life by 2 months: Research

(NewsNation) — A leading expert on alcohol and longevity has revealed that even moderate drinking can reduce life expectancy, challenging long-held beliefs about alcohol’s health benefits.

Dr. Tim Stockwell, a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, told the Daily Mail that consuming an average of two drinks per week over a lifetime can shorten one’s life by 3 to 6 days. One drink per day, seven a week, can cut life expectancy by 2 1/2 months.

Heavy drinkers, those consuming about 35 drinks per week, may lose approximately two years of life, according to Stockwell’s research.

These findings contradict the popular notion that moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, is beneficial for health. Stockwell, once a supporter of moderate drinking, changed his stance after discovering flaws in previous medical research.

A meta-analysis led by Stockwell, reviewing over 107 studies from the past four decades, concluded that no amount of alcohol improves health and may increase the risk of death from any cause.

Alcohol has been shown to damage various organs, including the brain, heart, liver and pancreas. It can increase blood pressure, contribute to heart disease, interfere with nutrient absorption and suppress the immune system.

Stockwell and his colleagues have questioned the validity of studies pointing to alcohol’s health benefits, noting that many were funded by the alcohol industry. They argue that nondrinkers may appear less healthy in studies because they’ve quit alcohol due to existing health problems.

Federal guidelines currently recommend that men drink no more than two drinks daily and women no more than one. However, recent research suggests even these levels may be too high.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convened a six-member advisory board to reassess current drinking recommendations.

Guidelines vary from country to country, but the overall trend is toward drinking less.

The United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Holland and Australia recently reviewed new evidence and lowered their alcohol consumption recommendations. Ireland will require cancer-warning labels on alcohol starting in 2026.