S. KOREA STUDY: MODERATE DRINKING HAS NO BENEFIT TO MEN, ONLY MINIMAL BENEFITS TO WOMEN
By Susan Lewis
Credit: Kelsey Knight/Unsplash
A study by South Korean researchers found that only women can have some health benefits from moderate drinking, while men will not benefit from any level of alcohol consumption.
In a study presented at the virtual European and International Congress on Obesity held recently, researchers from National Medical Centre in Seoul suggested that there is no such thing as safe level of drinking alcohol.
The study analysed two years of data on more than 14 million men and 12 million women from the Korean National Health Insurance System collected in 2015 and 2016.
They found that women who consume an average of 7.1 to 14g of alcohol (like a small glass of wine) per day have a 3% reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of high blood pressure and diabetes, compared to non-drinkers.
However, this group of women are also 9% more likely to have obesity than women who do not drink.
Women who drink an average of 14.1 to 24g of alcohol (like two glasses of wine) a day are 22% and 18% more likely to develop obesity and metabolic syndrome respectively.
Men who down an average of 7.1 to 14g of alcohol per day are 10% more prone to obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to those who didn't drink.
Consuming 14.1g to 24g a day for men could raise the odds by 22% and 25%, respectively.
The highest risk was seen in men who drink more than 24g alcohol per day, with 34% higher odds of obesity and 42% greater odds of metabolic syndrome.
The study’s lead researcher Dr Hye Jung Shin said: “Consuming more than half a standard alcoholic drink a day is associated with an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome in both men and women - and the risk rises in proportion with alcohol intake.”
“Our results suggest the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome increases in proportion to alcohol consumption when male and female adults drink more than half a standard drink per day,” he added.
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