The United Kingdom chief medical officers recently announced the changing of alcohol consumption guidelines.  Previous guidelines stated that men who regularly drink could have 21 units of alcohol week, and women, 14 units.  The new guidelines recommend that men and women who drink alcohol regularly should consume no more than 14 units now. This is equivalent to about 6 pints of beer, or 7 small glasses of wine.

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However, some academics and industry professionals are questioning these new guidelines and wonder about the science behind the new guidelines. They question the level of risk associated with alcohol consumption.

Medical officers warned the public that any level of alcohol consumptions could be linked to increasing the risk of cancer. This perspective was supported by a new review from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (CoC) on alcohol and cancer risk. This review also stated that the benefits of alcohol for heart health only applied to women who were aged 55 and up. They recommended that these women should limit their consumption to 5 units a week (2 glasses of wine) to get the greatest benefit.

It is also recommended that men and women spread out the 14 units over the week, not consume all of it one or two days. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of death from long-term illnesses, accident and injuries.

The chief medical officer for England said “Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to more than 14 units a week, it keeps the risk of illness and cancer and liver disease low”.

So limit your alcohol to 14 units a week (6 pints of beer or 7 small glasses of wine) and be sure to spread it out to reduce your risk of decreasing your health!


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