Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits

Drinking alcohol is a health risk regardless of the amount.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Research on alcohol suggests a sobering conclusion: Drinking alcohol in any amount carries a health risk. While the risk is low for moderate intake, the risk goes up as the amount you drink goes up.

Many people drink alcohol as a personal preference, during social activities, or as a part of cultural and religious practices. People who choose not to drink make that choice for the same reasons. Knowing your personal risk based on your habits can help you make the best decision for you.

The evidence for moderate alcohol use in healthy adults is still being studied. But good evidence shows that drinking high amounts of alcohol are clearly linked to health problems.

Here's a closer look at alcohol and health.

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Jan. 20, 2024