Health Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Health Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption:

  • Moderate alcohol consumption, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on health. These include decreased risk for heart disease and mortality due to heart disease, decreased risk of ischemic stroke (in which the arteries to the brain become narrowed or blocked, resulting in reduced blood flow), and decreased risk of diabetes.
  • In most Western countries where chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, stroke, and diabetes are the primary causes of death, results from large epidemiological studies consistently show that alcohol reduces mortality, especially among middle-aged and older men and women—an association that is likely due to the protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on CHD, diabetes, and ischemic stroke.
  • It is estimated that 26,000 deaths were averted in 2005 because of reductions in ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes from the benefits attributed to moderate alcohol consumption.

Expanding our understanding of the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and potential health benefits remains a challenge, and, although there are positive effects, alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks moderately.

More information about the potential health benefits, as well as risks, of moderate alcohol consumption can be found at