A recent study found that women who drank one or two alcoholic beverages a day in middle age were significantly more likely maintain good health as they aged. The good health defined by the researchers meant being free of major chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
The study which was led by Harvard researchers included data from 13,894 women who participated in a long running Nurses’ Health Study. All the participants filled out surveys about their eating and drinking habits in midlife (age 58). The researchers then compared it to their actual health at age 70.
The results showed that the women who drank up one alcoholic beverage a day in midlife were 19% more likely than the non-drinkers to enjoy good health later on at age 70. Women who had 1-2 drinks a day had better chance of good health, about 28%. They also found that the pattern of drinking mattered as women who spread their consumption of alcohol over 5-7 days were more likely maintained good health than those who drank the same amount of alcohol in 3-5 days. The women who only drank about 1-2 times a week were no better off than those who didn’t drink at all.
The researchers classified one drink as 15 g which is over half an ounce of alcohol which is equivalent of one can of beer or small glass of wine.
We also want to note that studies similar to this only prove that drinking alcohol has a correlation with good health, and there is no direct proof drinking alcohol causes good health.