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Could A Glass of Beer Prolong Your Life?

3 mins read A study claims that the daily consumption of beer increases a person’s chances of reaching the 9th decade.

Photo Credit: Nairaland Forum 3 mins read

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Drinking beer daily increases a person’s chances of reaching 90 years. So so says this report published by the Nations online Nigeria. Men who consume half a pint of beer a day are 81 per cent likely to reach the milestone age compared to non-drinkers it said.

It, however, added that women could increase their chances of reaching the tenth decade by a third if they drink a similar amount. Further, men who drink three shots of whiskey or two pints every day are two-thirds more likely to reach 90 than teetotallers( non-drinkers).

First Reports online and Mirror UK also have a similar story reported with them quoting almost the same source.

Alcohol

Alcohol contains ethanol, a chemical produced by the fermentation of fruits, grains etc. Drinking alcohol affects anyone, but how it affects a person depends on how much you drink, your age, your health, and several other factors. 

Alcohol intake is addictive and highly toxic. Alcoholic beverages often reduce self-consciousness and shyness, encourage actions without inhibition, impairs judgement and eventually promote behaviour individuals may end up regretting.

Effects of Alcohol

The health effects of alcohol intake vary between individual, age bracket, amount, and also the type of alcohol consumed.

  • Shrinking Brain: Longtime exposure to alcohol can shrink the frontal lobes
  • Alcohol can change physical behaviours living the individual without mental clarity to make smart decisions.
  • Blackouts: Alcohol does interfere with memories; it can make the individual oblivious of what he or she did while drinking or beforehand.
  • Slurred speech can occur as a result of binge drinking.
  • Liver damage: Chronic alcohol use can damage the liver and prevent it from removing harmful substances from the body.
  • Chronic and heavy drinking is a significant cause of cardiovascular disease.
  • Cancer: Throat, oesophagus, mouth cancers are inherent in chronic drinkers, amongst other conditions. 

Does Alcohol Consumption Grant Longevity?

The basic answer to this tricky question is UNLIKELY. Alcohol intake comes with different side effects shot or long term as the case may be. With the underlying implications highlighted, it is doubtful that alcohol will or can enhance longevity.

January 8, 2020, CNN published a report showing how alcohol-related death has doubled in the US. A section of the report says a look at data from death certificates from 1999 to 2017 suggests that over 1 million American lost their lives in that period to alcohol-related means. 

Also, the report pointed out that these deaths resulted from liver disease or an overdose from alcohol or alcohol mixed with other drugs. It also pointed out that the rate of death also increases for people between ages 55 and 64.

Mr Tapper, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan whose area of practice focuses on cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy, “says the increased prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes make an increase in alcohol consumption much more harmful”.

Not an elixir for life

CNN health observational study suggests that longevity depends on gender and body size. It opined that it living to the ripe old age of 90 may depend on your body size, both height and weight as well as your level of physical activity. 

It is, however, not proven if alcohol will breed longevity, what is certain are the underlying effects stemming from excessive intake; which have caused more harm than good so far. 

Furthermore, the other significant factor of drunk driving which causes death, cannot be overlooked. 

Conclusion

While this particular study makes this observation, health authorities are yet to make it “law” as extensive research is still needed. More so, as the study notes, non-drinkers are not urged to join the boozers’ wagon in a race for immortality; drinking should be a choice devoid of unproven theories. And, finally, let us remember that excessive alcohol is dangerous to human health, so do not do that.

Temilade Onilede is a researcher and the Programme Assistant for Dubawa, Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Performing Arts From the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State. She is a trained journalist, with good research and writing skills, coupled with her knowledge in Journalism; a personable character and an engaging mind who is well skilled in the field of fact-checking and verification.

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