Cutting down daily alcohol intake to just half a glass of wine could save thousands of lives every year, a new study has found.
With the government in Britain currently reviewing the safe drinking guidelines, researchers led by Professor Martin Jarvis, from University College London have found that limiting the daily intake of alcohol to just half a unit, equivalent to half a glass, could save more than 4,600 lives in England alone.
The researchers used data from the 2006 General Household Survey which tabulated weekly alcohol consumption of more than 15,000 adults in the country. The researchers found that cutting down on alcohol could reduce the risk of deaths by the 11 conditions that have been linked to alcohol consumption including cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
"The optimum level of reduced chronic disease mortality in England would be achieved at an average alcohol consumption level of around five grammes a day, which should be taken into account in the formulation of health guidance. It is likely that government recommendations would need to be set at a much lower level than the current 'low-risk' drinking guidelines in order to achieve this level", the researchers wrote in their report.