Diet Nutrition

Study shows one alcoholic drink a day could significantly shorten your lifespan

We might have to start thinking twice about those evening wines we're so fond of.

By Danielle Harman

There is nothing better than getting home from a long day at work, kicking off your shoes and relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine.

Surely, something that makes you feel so good and relaxed can't be bad for you… right?!

But it turns out that even if we limit ourselves to just one alcoholic drink each night, our health will suffer.

A new study published in The Lancet concludes that we shouldn't be having more than five alcoholic drinks a week.

For some, this may mean cutting down on those 'pick-me-up' evening drinks that help us get through the week, or skipping Friday night drinks after work, if we want to live longer.

The study compared the health and drinking habits of over 600,00 people worldwide and showed that those who drink over five standard drinks per week had a lower life expectancy than those who consumed five or less.

To reduce long-term health risks, the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommends that women should limit themselves to 10 standard drinks a week and men no more than 15 standard drinks a week – which is significantly higher than what this new study suggests.

Of the 600,000 participants, those who drunk 10 or more drinks per week were likely to have a reduced lifespan of one to two years and those who consumed 18 drinks or more per week were likely to lose four to five years.

Lead author Dr Angela Wood states: "If you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions."

With this in mind, maybe it's time to look at cutting our alcohol consumption down entirely, or introducing alcohol-free days to our working week.

Although it may seem as though there is a neverending list of things that are considered 'bad for our health' nowadays, it's important to remember – everything in moderation.