Studies looking at the health effects of moderate drinking are all over the map.
Some show that a drink or two a day is beneficial, reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Others show that drinking increases cancer risk, and that the heart benefits are minimal and do not outweigh the danger of alcoholism.
Now, new research may have discovered the reason for the disparity.
It found that moderate drinking is beneficial for older people, but not so much for younger ones.
The study was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The authors argue that past studies on alcohol’s health effects are flawed. One problem is that most of this research looks at people who are older than 50.
That would obviously leave out people who may have died from alcohol before reaching that age. And it’s known that close to 40% of alcohol-related deaths involve people under 50.
Dr. Timothy Naimi was the new study’s lead author. “Deceased persons cannot be enrolled in cohort studies,” he pointed out.
The researchers drew from a database maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s called the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact Application.
The scientists crunched the numbers and came to some interesting conclusions…
They found that 35.8% of alcohol-related fatalities happen to people in the age range of 20 to 49. But only 4.5% of deaths prevented by alcohol occur in that group.
In stark contrast, while 35% of alcohol-related deaths occur in seniors, 80% of deaths prevented by alcohol are among people over 65.
The scientists were also able to calculate the number of years of life lost to drinking or saved by it.
Fifty-eight percent of years lost were in the 20-to-49 age group. But just 15% of years lost in people over 65…while they had 50% of the years of saved life.
The bottom line?
Younger people are more likely to die from alcohol than from a lack of drinking. But older people are more likely to reap the benefits of alcohol while avoiding the dangers.
Researchers also point out that, on the whole, “most people who choose to drink can do so with relatively low risk” no matter their age.
If You Drink, Drink This
If you’re over 65, chances are, you’re doing your health a favor by having a drink or two a day. Especially if red wine is your drink of choice.
Red wine contains the powerful antioxidant resveratrol. Studies have found resveratrol fights age-related cognitive decline. It also helps keep your skin youthful and is linked to better heart health, and lower risk of stroke and cancer. 
If you don’t like wine, resveratrol is widely available in supplement form.
Editor’s Note: Scientists have called resveratrol “one of the greatest health discoveries ever made.” Find out how resveratrol is even more powerful when combined with another remarkable ingredient in this special video presentation.