GET THE DRINKS BAL­ANCE RIGHT

Prima (UK) - - Health Report -

It’s easy to get into the habit of re­lax­ing with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But it seems we’re not stop­ping at just the one. His­tor­i­cally, men have been far more likely to drink al­co­hol in quan­ti­ties that dam­age their health but, in re­cent years, the amount women drink has crept up, and now the gen­der gap has shrunk so much that we’re catch­ing up with men in al­co­hol con­sump­tion and its as­so­ci­ated harms.

The is­sue is that we have a high fat to wa­ter ra­tio, so the al­co­hol is more con­cen­trated. We also have smaller liv­ers with which to process it. But our liv­ers aren’t the only thing we’re dam­ag­ing. ‘Ex­cess al­co­hol is also linked to head and neck can­cer, and heav­ily linked to breast can­cer,’ says Dr Cros­bie. It’s thought that as many as 12,000 cases of breast can­cer could be avoided if women drunk no al­co­hol at all.

We’re not say­ing you need to go tee­to­tal, just to be aware. One 175ml glass of 14% ABV wine a night adds up to nearly 17 units a week and, let’s face it, one of­ten leads to an­other! ‘It’s easy to lose track of units at home, es­pe­cially if you’re shar­ing a bot­tle of wine,’ says Dr Cros­bie. ‘Units can be hard to cal­cu­late, but the to­tal num­ber is printed on the back of a bot­tle of wine, so make sure you look.’

Ex­perts agree that hav­ing two or three back-to-back booze­free nights a week al­lows your liver to re­gen­er­ate. And, when you do drink, buy a goodqual­ity wine that you will take your time over. It’s not about ab­stain­ing, but ad­just­ing.

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