New Study Says More Than 5 Glasses of Wine a Week Might Shorten Your Life (But What's Life Without It?)

It's buzzy news for wine lovers to ponder... and it still might be worth it.

Every time we turn around, it seems there’s a study proclaiming the health benefits of alcohol. It helps you live past 90! It reduces brain inflammation and thwarts dementia! Cheers to an extra round!

But press pause before you uncork to ponder this latest news: According to yet another study examining the relationship between alcohol consumption and life expectancy, drinking more than five glasses of alcohol a week is comparable to smoking — dramatically shortening your life expectancy while raising your risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure, and even death.

As reported by The Guardian, the new study published in medical journal The Lancet analyzed data from nearly 600,000 current drinkers from 19 countries, explaining that each extra glass of wine can shorten your life by an incredible 30 minutes. (Just a sec while we calculate how many years we’ve already shaved off…)

In fact, after more than only one small 175 ml glass of wine per day — that’s a moderate pour, not the generous ones you might be used to — death rates begin to climb. The safe limit is five 175 ml glasses of wine — or five pints — a week, period.

Even worse: People who regularly imbibe more than ten drinks a week (that’s only two glasses of wine, spread over five days) cut their life expectancy by two years. For those who really tie one on — drinking more than 17 drinks per week — the reduced life expectancy is five years.  

The one bright spot dovetails with what we’ve always heard about wine and its heart-healthy benefits: Drinking will reduce the chance of a non-fatal heart attack. (So, yay?)

The study concludes: “These data support limits for alcohol consumption that are lower than those recommended in most current guidelines.”

So it's sad news for anybody who has tried to justified their love for Pinot noir or Sauv blanc, indeed. But it still might be worth it: What's 30 minutes here or there over the course of a lifetime? Especially when that lifetime, for some, might be made so very much more pleasant with wine.

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