Think that not drinking alcohol will help you live longer? Think again.
A study shows that regular drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than people who have never indulged in alcohol. You read that right: Time reports that abstaining from alcohol altogether can lead to a shorter life than consistent, moderate drinking.
The tightly controlled study, which looked at individuals between ages 55 and 65, spanned a 20-year period and accounted for variables ranging from socioeconomic status to level of physical activity.
Even heavy drinkers were more likely to live longer than those who’ve never taken a sip!
Of the 1,824 study participants, only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died prematurely compared to a whopping 69 percent of the nondrinkers. Meanwhile, the heavy drinkers fared better than those who abstained, with a 60 percent mortality rate. Despite the increased risks for cirrhosis and several types of cancer, not to mention dependency, accidents, and poor judgment associated with heavy drinking, those who imbibe are less likely to die than people who stay dry.
The reason to this is that moderate drinking is a social lubricant. Drinking with friends helps stimulates our minds and as a result we are less susceptible to depression, than those who don’t engage in social drinking. And depression is a killer, so much so that those who never drank alcohol died faster. Strong social networks are essential for maintaining mental and physical health.