Previous studies stating the health benefits of alcohol, mostly wine, could have been greatly overstated as they’ve shown to be based on unreliable information, a new research suggests. The latest research questioning the accuracy of past evidence on alcohol benefits was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs on Tuesday, March 22.
The past research on the subject of health benefits in restrained alcohol consumption disproves the belief that moderate drinking is linked with longevity, which is generally thought among people. These studies suggested that moderate drinking could not only improve people’s health and longevity but also could reduce the risk of deafness and even cancer.
The many holes in past studies’ conclusions involving the benefits of alcohol led Dr. Timothy Stockwell, of the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research, to determine how much of the data can be confirmed.
Researchers at the University of Victoria in Canada were skilled enough to determine that past research stating red wine’s properties can help fight aging and reducing the risk for heart diseases didn’t consider many significant factors. The new analysis showed that a key issue in previous studies was the definition of the study group known as abstainers.
The research was based on a revision involving a total of 87 studies, where most of them were discarded as they lacked sufficient evidence to support them, explains Dr. Stockwell. Prior analyses didn’t take into account detailed aspects of the volunteers’ background profile and thus, researchers couldn’t properly define those who abstained from drinking.
This group of abstainers could have been wrongly analyzed as the volunteers who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages, including wine, could also include people with poor health, or heavy drinkers who had to stop due to impending harm.
Lead researcher for the recent analysis, Dr. Stockwell claims that improved methods to make accurate estimates of alcohol’s health impacts are a must for people’s health decisions.