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Women Now Drink as Much Alcohol as Men, Global Study Finds

Women have caught up with the amount of alcohol men drink, and are doing increasing amounts of damage to their health as a result, according to a global study that looked at the consumption habits of 4 million people over a period of over a century, The Guardian reports.

The implications from a public health perspective may lead to a variety of prevention and intervention programs, the report states. But, from a personal health level, it’s vital to know that over-consumption of alcohol can slow the way your brain cells communicate, and at high doses may cause the neurons in your brain that control your heart rate and breathing to slow down their communication to the point that your breathing stops completely, leading to death.

Whether or not moderate alcohol consumption can be safe and even healthy is controversial, with a mixed bag of results. For instance, research shows people who have one to two drinks a day may have a significantly reduced risk of death from heart disease and “all causes,” while on the other hand, alcohol consumption may also be associated with an increased risk of cancer, even at moderate levels of intake.

The latest Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee scientific report suggests "moderate consumption of alcohol [is a component] of a beneficial dietary pattern,” yet a record number of Americans don’t understand what “moderate” really is. I generally define "moderate" alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day.
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