What’s the Healthiest Drinking Age?

Age is a major factor in determining deaths prevented by alcohol consumption.

What’s the Healthiest Drinking Age?

In The Hangover (2008), Zach Galifianakis (Alan), Bradley Cooper (Phil) and Justin Bartha (Doug) prove the point that researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues made in a paper published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Young people get the least health benefits from drinking alcohol.

A lot of info is out there about how consuming a moderate amount of any alcohol, including wine, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, maybe by remodeling your gut biome and boosting levels of heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. But these researchers point out that age is a major factor in determining deaths prevented by alcohol consumption—the ultimate benefit, no?

Almost 36 percent of total deaths caused by alcohol occurred in people 20 to 49-years-old. However, of the deaths determined to have been prevented by alcohol consumption, only 4.5 percent occurred in this younger age group. Eighty percent occurred in folks 65 and older. So, while moderation is essential at any age—younger folks should realize that they’re not gaining as many benefits as their Grammy is with a glass or two of wine. And one thing is certain, excessive drinking (daily or binging) can lead to addiction, damages your cells and can increase your risk for cancer.

Want benefits without alcohol? Grapes and berries—and almost any fruit and vegetable—help protect the heart and prevent some cancers and vision problems more than red wine. And many fruits and vegetables also deliver heart-loving fiber and other nutrients.

More On

How Alcohol Affects Women

article

How Alcohol Affects Women
Men are drinking less and women are drinking alcohol more, closing up the gender-drinking gap, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse an...
Binge Drinking Can Take a Toll on Your Finances

article

Binge Drinking Can Take a Toll on Your Finances
Your health and safety aren’t the only things that become endangered from drinking too much alcohol. Your wallet can take a hit, too. A survey by Find...
Does Your Face Flush After Drinking Alcohol?

video

Does Your Face Flush After Drinking Alcohol?
Facial flushing is a sign of alcohol sensitivity and is common with women and people of East Asian decent. Watch Robin Miller, MD, explain what it mea...
What Are the Warnings and Dangers of Smoking (or Vaporizing) Alcohol?

video

What Are the Warnings and Dangers of Smoking (or Vaporizing) Alcohol?
The danger in smoking or vaping alcohol is that you don't know what your personal limitations are, so you don't know how much you are actually consumi...