New research has found that wine drinkers with more than three glasses of non-drinkable alcohol per week are five times less likely than non-wine drinkers to drink wine, and that they drink less beer and cider than nonwine drinkers.
The study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found that men with a high alcohol intake and those who drink more beer or cider were three times less at risk of drinking alcohol.
Wine and beer drinkers had a lower risk of being heavy drinkers, but the researchers said they were not sure why this was.
They also found that drinking more than one glass of wine a week was linked to a 15% reduced risk of alcoholism, which could be down to alcohol’s effects on the brain.
‘No doubt the findings have implications for public health and for alcohol policies’ Alcoholics Anonymous spokesperson Sarah-Jane Robinson said: ‘The study makes the case that if you want to reduce your risk of alcohol-related harms, then drinking more alcohol is a good strategy.’
The findings come at a time when alcohol is being banned in many countries around the world.
“A significant proportion of our population, especially young people, is becoming increasingly aware of the risks of alcohol and its impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and families,” said Dr Robin Geddes, senior lecturer in public health at University College London.
“These findings are consistent with research showing that, when it comes to alcohol use, young people are at greater risk of serious harms including increased likelihood of developing alcohol-impaired driving, and more severe problems with alcohol abuse and dependence.”
Dr Gedders research was supported by the European Research Council, the European Commission and the Wellcome Trust.
Dr Gidders study, funded by the Wellcomes Trust, is available to view online.