Drinking A Small Glass Of Alcohol Daily Can Increase Your Chances Of Living To 90, Study Finds

by : Lucy Connolly on : 22 Feb 2020 17:03
Drinking Alcohol Daily Can Increase Your Chances Of Living To 90, Study FindsPexels

It’s the weekend, which can mean only one thing: everybody’s getting ready for a night on the town. Well, everyone but me, it seems, who’s slaving away writing this for you lot.

Regardless, I think we can all agree a nice glass of wine would go down an absolute treat right now. Which, as it turns out, could actually be a very wise and sensible thing to do.


Yes, I know previously we’ve been told to limit our intake of alcohol as much as possible, but a new study has found drinking alcohol every day can vastly increase your chances of reaching 90 years old.

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The study, conducted by a team of researchers at Maastricht University Medical Centre in The Netherlands, suggests drinking alcohol in moderation might be better for a long and healthy life than abstaining from alcohol completely.

Scientists tracked more than 5,000 men and women born between 1916 and 1917 using data from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Participants were quizzed on their drinking habits in 1986 when they were in their sixties, before researchers followed them up until the age of 90.


The results, published in the journal Age and Ageing, showed 34% of the women and 16% of the men survived to that age, with those who drank 5–15 g/d of alcohol having ‘the highest probability of reaching 90’.

That amount of alcohol is roughly equivalent to a small glass of wine, a pub measure of a spirit or half a pint of beer. Drinking any more than 15g of alcohol was found to have a detrimental effect, as larger daily intakes led to premature deaths.

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In a report on the findings, researcher Dr Piet A. van den Brandt said, as per MailOnline:


We found alcohol intake was positively associated with the probability of reaching 90 years of age in both men and women. Wine was associated with women reaching 90 but not with men. Instead, intake of gin, brandy and whisky increased their longevity.

Researchers said it’s not clear why small daily amounts of alcohol add years to our lives, although one possible explanation could be a scientific phenomenon called hormesis – where something is potentially beneficial in small doses but highly toxic and dangerous in large doses.

The scientists also warned that while their findings showed drinkers live longer, it’s not necessarily the case that they are healthier. Dr van den Brandt said: ‘This should not be used by anyone who does not currently drink alcohol as motivation to start drinking.’


So while drinking in moderation is good for some people, it won’t be for everyone – particularly because alcohol can interfere with prescription medications taken by most older people.

Basically, if you don’t drink at the moment this study isn’t a reason to start. But if you do, just keep doing it in a healthy and balanced way and the science says it should all be good.

Happy Saturday, folks!

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Food, Alcohol, beer, Food and Drink, Life, Research, Study, The Netherlands


Age and Ageing and 1 other
  1. Age and Ageing

    Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study

  2. MailOnline

    One alcoholic drink a day makes you live longer: Scientists find drinkers are 40 per cent more likely to reach 90