Alcohol and health: It’s complicated

The potential benefits and risks of drinking alcohol have been debated for decades.  Moderate drinking has been linked with reduced risk of getting heart disease—but also with increased risk of some types of cancer.

A March 14, 2019 episode of the podcast Science Vs took a deep dive into the research on the health effects of alcohol consumption. One of the featured guests was Eric Rimm, professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Rimm co-authored a 1991 study that found that the more alcohol men drank—in any amount—the lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. More recent studies have confirmed that alcohol appears good for the heart, but only in moderation.

While moderate alcohol consumption may help the heart, recent evidence suggests that, when it comes to cancer, there is no safe amount.

Listen to the Science Vs podcast: Alcohol: A Pour Decision?

Learn more

Study says no amount of alcohol is safe, but expert not convinced (Harvard Chan School news)

Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits (The Nutrition Source)