JACKSON, Mississippi (WJTV) – Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson have said drinking less can improve physical and mental health.
They said the COVID-19 quarantines may have led to drinking an extra glass of wine or having one more cocktail after 5 p.m. Changing this habit has many health benefits, according to experts at UMMC.
“There is consistent evidence that establishes a causal link between alcohol use and depression,” said Dr. Saurabh B. Bhardwaj, assistant professor of psychiatry and medical director of the addiction program at UMMC. “In addition, studies show remission of symptoms in almost 50% of subjects who suffered from depression and abstained from alcohol for 30 days.”
Cutting back on alcoholic beverages could also have physiological benefits.
âReducing alcohol consumption has significant health benefits, especially with regards to cognition and alertness, improved mood and appetite, reduced gastrointestinal symptoms,â decreased risk of falls and balance problems, improved heart and liver function and better sleep patterns, âsays Bhardwaj.
Current Diet guidelines for Americans recommend that women consume no more than one alcoholic drink per day and two for men. Anything that is excessive, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as having more than 14 alcoholic drinks per week for men and seven for women.
Drinking non-alcoholic drinks even for a short time can make a difference. A Study 2020 on the effects of a month of abstinence from alcohol published in the medical journal BMJ Open shows that, for moderate to heavy drinkers, having a dry month improves insulin resistance, healthier weight and blood pressure , and suggests a relationship between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Some of the health benefits of sticking to the recommendations of the US dietary guidelines include the following:
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Less risk of cardiovascular disease
- Less anxiety
- Give your liver a break
- You could lose weight