Health Advice



The benefits of limiting your drinking

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When Louis Pasteur, the father of pasteurization (it knocks out bacteria in milk, making it safe to use) said, "Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages," he was speaking from experience in the lab and real life.

These days, thanks to him, you don't have to worry about getting salmonella, E. coli, listeria or campylobacter from milk, but research shows that wine -- in moderation -- is still a healthful beverage.

A new study looked at data on 19,877 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, the University of Michigan's nearly 20-year examination of America's older population, to determine participants' brain function. Starting at age 62, every nine years or so, the researchers tested their word recall, mental status and vocabulary. Turns out, folks who were low to moderate drinkers (less than eight drinks per week for women and less than 15 drinks per week for men) had significantly higher cognition.

Unfortunately, most folks don't know what's meant by low or moderate drinking. In fact, alcohol use causes about 88,000 deaths annually in the U.S., making it the third leading preventable cause of death. So here's the scoop: In America, an acceptable amount is defined as around a drink a day for women and two for men of 12 ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol), 5 ounces of 12% alcohol wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Never more. But if you are more than rarely over the top, don't ignore the problem. Reach out to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or consider talk therapy.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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