Booze and Your Body: Is Alcohol Healthy?

alcohol-martini

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To drink for your health or not to? Here’s the latest news on the risks and benefits of alcohol:

The good
It strengthens your bones, says a new study from Oregon State University.

It fights heart disease. A glass a day in midlife is linked to a lower rate of heart disease and cognitive decline in old age.

The bad
It can raise breast cancer risk. In a review of studies, women who had a drink a day had a 4 percent increase in risk over those who didn’t drink.

It’s harmful in excess. Drinking more than a glass a day has been linked to a range of problems, including weight gain and even liver damage.

The bottom line
“A drink a day can be beneficial,” says Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, director of the Center for Women’s Health at New York–Presbyterian Hospital. “If you’re concerned about your breast cancer risk, you don’t need to cut out alcohol altogether, but aim for a drink every other day or less.”

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