Moderate alcohol intake has long been lauded as an ingredient of the healthy lifestyle; being good for your heart and your longevity.
According to a growing number of vocal psychologists, however, studies showing health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption are purely correlatory and any advice coming from them should be taken with caution.
From an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The bottom line is there has not been a single study done on moderate alcohol consumption and mortality outcomes that is a ‘gold standard’ kind of study â€” the kind of randomized controlled clinical trial that we would be required to have in order to approve a new pharmaceutical agent in this country.
[Moderate drinkers and abstainers] are so different that they simply cannot be compared. Moderate drinkers are healthier, wealthier and more educated, and they get better health care, even though they are more likely to smoke. They are even more likely to have all of their teeth, a marker of well-being.
In fact, even the original researcher whose “landmark study [found] that members of the Kaiser Permanente health care plan who drank in moderation were less likely to be hospitalized for heart attacks than abstainers” has since discovered that even moderate alcohol consumption may increase hypertension.