Is not drinking anything healthier than moderate drinking?

Is it healthier to drink moderate alcohol? Or not to drink alcohol at all? A simple question with a difficult answer. It depends on which body you look at. For your heart, and even for relaxing, a glass of alcohol is quite healthy. But alcohol is never good for your liver. Your liver loves Spartan!

Your body sees alcohol as a toxic substance that needs to be broken down in the liver. The breakdown of alcohol always takes precedence over the breakdown of all other toxins from the body. In the case of a too high supply of alcohol, disturbances may occur in the metabolism due to the accumulation of degradation products. There is also a direct relationship between the amount of alcohol consumption and liver disease. So alcohol is so unhealthy for your liver.

Alcohol quite healthy

But several international studies show that drinking a little alcohol is pretty good for health. Moderate use of alcohol, for example, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

But ‘moderate’ is precisely the most important problem for all wine and beer lovers. Moderate drinking is not possible, alcohol is too good for that. Moderate drinking means for men that they are allowed to drink a maximum of two glasses per day and women one glass. And one or two quickly becomes three or four. The health risks of drinking more are great; the risk of liver cirrhosis, strokes, myocardial infarction and various types of cancer increase when drinking alcohol above the ‘moderate limit’. For this reason, the Health Council in 2015 stated in its guidelines that no alcohol consumption is actually the best guideline. Moderate drinking may be beneficial for your health, but those benefits do not outweigh the disadvantages if you do not drink moderately as (almost) everyone does. That’s why the norm is rather ‘nothing’.

Liver is happy with 0% alcohol

‘Nothing’ remains a difficult norm if you know that ‘something’ is quite okay. Although … quite okay if you do not count the liver. The liver really works better on no drop of alcohol. For that reason, the English liver specialist Dr. M. Wright (Southampton General Hospital) the ‘Love your Liver’ campaign. He noticed that many people do not drink for a month if they had used excessive alcohol for weeks, for example in the month of December or during the summer holidays. They thought that after a month of not drinking the liver is completely fresh and renewed.

As long as there is no permanent damage, the liver is indeed capable of completely recovering itself within 24 hours. But not drinking for a month with the idea that you can then easily abuse your body with large amounts of alcohol is nonsensical. You then damage your liver again.

It would be better, according to the doctor, to abandon alcohol altogether. And ahead, it was not allowed to drink for a few days every week. And then we are back on ‘something’.