Even one drink a day has health risks: study

Moderate alcohol consumption also poses health risks, according to a new international study. The researchers call on health organizations to lower the advice for healthy alcohol use, the Volkskrant reports.

The study, which was on Friday, was based on the health data of nearly 600 thousand alcohol drinkers from 19 countries. The researchers collected 83 individual studies from 1964 up to 2010, including one from Erasmus MC.

The Netherlands' guideline for drinking alcohol is: do not drink alcohol, or at least not more than one glass a day. But even that is too much, according to this new study. The safe lower limit is 5 glasses per week. Every glass on top of that shortens the life expectancy of a 40-year-old by 30 minutes.

The researchers particularly looked at cardiovascular diseases in this study. Until now it was unclear whether moderate drinking is bad for the health. It is, the researchers concluded. Drinking increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure and a rupture in the aorta. 

Nutrition professor Jaap Seidell is pleased with the new study, he said to the Volkskrant. In 2015 Seidell helped to establish the Dutch Alcohol Directive. "These findings underline what we have already said. Drinking is really fun, but you should not do it for your health."