You may have heard in the past that a little red wine with dinner is good for your heart. Or that certain kinds of hard liquor can contain anti-oxidants that ward off cancer.
While we hate to be the bearer of bad news, it turns out that those long-held beliefs aren’t true. At least, they probably aren’t true.
Canadian researchers recently reviewed 87 long-term studies on alcohol and death rates and found that there are likely no health benefits related to drinking. It doesn’t matter how little you drink, or what kind of alcohol you drink–it’s all bad for you.
“In summary, our study suggests that a skeptical position is warranted in relation to the evidence that low-volume consumption is associated with net health benefits,” the researchers wrote.
What they found was that in previous studies related to alcohol consumption, participants classified as “abstainers” often included individuals who cut out alcohol due to health issues. Therefore, people with already-existing health conditions who did not drink were compared to otherwise healthy people who did drink, which, over a long-term period, gave the impression that drinking was somehow healthier than abstaining.
Furthermore, researchers found that other lifestyle factors were not being given enough weight in previous studies, such as the participants’ consumption of fruits and vegetables.
These findings align with new alcohol consumption guidelines issued in the UK, which state that there is no safe limit for drinking alcohol, and that any amount will increase your risk of developing cancer. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, meanwhile, still recommends consuming no more than three drinks a day for men and two for women.
The study was conducted by researchers out of the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia and other institutions in both the U.S. and Australia.
For the record, we aren’t trying to be a major buzzkill here. We’re not saying you can’t drink, just understand that a glass of wine with dinner likely isn’t doing your body any favours. Alcohol consumption should be something we do to indulge and have fun, like eating candy.
Just make sure you do it responsibly.
WATCH: This is what happens if you give up drinking for a month