Alcohol

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    Alcohol (scientifically known as ethanol) is an organic chemical compound found in many beverages, disinfectants, and solvents. The effects of alcohol on longevity are complex and have been researched for decades.

    Health Impacts of Alcohol[edit | edit source]

    • Positive Impacts: Some studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, may be associated with a reduced rate of cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidant compounds in red wine, such as resveratrol, may have cell-protective properties.
    • Negative Impacts: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a range of health issues, including liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurological damages, and increased cancer risk. Alcohol is often referred to as a cellular toxin, as it has the potential to damage or kill cells.

    Alcohol and the Aging Process[edit | edit source]

    • Alcohol can influence the aging process in various ways. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase oxidative damage in cells and promote inflammation, potentially accelerating the aging process.
    • Conversely, moderate alcohol consumption may have antioxidant properties that neutralize cell-damaging free radicals, potentially slowing down aging.

    Recommendations[edit | edit source]

    • For those who consume alcohol, it's recommended to do so in moderation. Moderate consumption can be defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
    • Individuals who don't consume alcohol shouldn't start drinking just to gain potential health benefits.
    • It's important to discuss alcohol consumption and its potential health effects with a doctor or healthcare provider.

    Todo[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. van den Brandt PA & Brandts L: Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study. Age Ageing 2020. (PMID 32037449) [PubMed] [DOI] [Full text] BACKGROUND: whether light-to-moderate alcohol intake is related to reduced mortality remains a subject of intense research and controversy. There are very few studies available on alcohol and reaching longevity. METHODS: we investigated the relationship of alcohol drinking characteristics with the probability to reach 90 years of age. Analyses were conducted using data from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Participants born in 1916-1917 (n = 7,807) completed a questionnaire in 1986 (age 68-70 years) and were followed up for vital status until the age of 90 years (2006-07). Multivariable Cox regression analyses with fixed follow-up time were based on 5,479 participants with complete data to calculate risk ratios (RRs) of reaching longevity (age 90 years). RESULTS: we found statistically significant positive associations between baseline alcohol intake and the probability of reaching 90 years in both men and women. Overall, the highest probability of reaching 90 was found in those consuming 5- < 15 g/d alcohol, with RR = 1.36 (95% CI, 1.20-1.55) when compared with abstainers. The exposure-response relationship was significantly non-linear in women, but not in men. Wine intake was positively associated with longevity (notably in women), whereas liquor was positively associated with longevity in men and inversely in women. Binge drinking pointed towards an inverse relationship with longevity. Alcohol intake was associated with longevity in those without and with a history of selected diseases. CONCLUSIONS: the highest probability of reaching 90 years was found for those drinking 5- < 15 g alcohol/day. Although not significant, the risk estimates also indicate to avoid binge drinking.
    2. Streppel MT et al.: Long-term wine consumption is related to cardiovascular mortality and life expectancy independently of moderate alcohol intake: the Zutphen Study. J Epidemiol Community Health 2009. (PMID 19406740) [PubMed] [DOI] BACKGROUND: Light to moderate alcohol intake lowers the risk of cardiovascular mortality, but whether this protective effect can be attributed to a specific type of beverage remains unclear. Moreover, little is known about the effects of long-term alcohol intake on life expectancy. METHODS: The impact of long-term alcohol intake and types of alcoholic beverages consumed on cardiovascular mortality and life expectancy at age 50 was investigated in the Zutphen Study, a cohort of 1373 men born between 1900 and 1920 and examined repeatedly between 1960 and 2000. Hazard ratios (HRs) for total alcohol intake and alcohol from wine, beer and spirits were obtained from time-dependent Cox regression models. Life expectancy at age 50 was calculated from areas under survival curves. RESULTS: Long-term light alcohol intake, that is < or =20 g per day, compared with no alcohol, was strongly and inversely associated with cerebrovascular (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.70), total cardiovascular (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.89) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.91). Independent of total alcohol intake, long-term wine consumption of, on average, less than half a glass per day was strongly and inversely associated with coronary heart disease (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.89), total cardiovascular (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.86) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.87). These results could not be explained by differences in socioeconomic status. Life expectancy was about 5 years longer in men who consumed wine compared with those who did not use alcoholic beverages. CONCLUSION: Long-term light alcohol intake lowered cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk and increased life expectancy. Light wine consumption was associated with 5 years longer life expectancy; however, more studies are needed to verify this result.