A great man once said, “To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of lives problems!” Sure, that man may or may not be a fictitious cartoon character by the name of Homer Simpson, but nevertheless, the quote holds its own. Alcohol is everywhere.
Bad day at work? Wouldn’t mind a glass of wine. Headed to the footy? A couple of beers wouldn’t go astray. Catching up with mates? Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. It’s all around us.
According to a recent study, a month off the piss could prevent significant illness later in life. Patients who gave up drinking for four weeks saw substantial health improvements including a better functioning liver, reduced blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. They were also at lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease, saw proven weight loss and had overall better concentration and sleeping habits.
Performed by the University College London, the study monitored 102 relatively healthy men and women in their 40s taking part in a ‘dry January’ campaign. The women had been drinking an average of 29 units of alcohol a week, equivalent to more than four units a day, while the men were on around 31 units – both statistics above government guideline levels.
After four weeks off the sauce, it was shown that their “liver stiffness” had been reduced by 12.5 per cent, and their insulin resistance had come down by 28 per cent.
Professor Kevin Moore, a liver specialist who co-authored the study, stated that “These subjects were probably average drinkers – they drank in excess of the guidelines… There was certainly substantial improvement in various parameters of the liver. The other parameters, blood pressure, cholesterol, how well the subjects slept were also substantial.”
“Does it have a sustained impact? We think we will find people drink less going forward,” he said.
So, some food (or drink) for thought. It might be a good idea to think twice before having that second or third or fourth drink.
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