How to live longer: Giving up alcohol could add up to 28 years onto your life

However, there are lots of health risks associated with drinking alcohol, so what are they?

In the research paper, the scientists had written: “Increased alcohol consumption is associated with increased disease burden.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warned that drinking too much – even on a single occasion – “can take a serious toll on your health”.

The brain

Alcohol consumption “interferes with the brain’s communication pathways”, which can disrupt mood and behaviour, making it harder to think clearly.

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“Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis,” added the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Pancreatitis is when blood vessels within the pancreas become inflamed and swollen, preventing proper digestion which can be dangerous.


There is also a “strong scientific consensus” that there’s a link between alcohol consumption and several types of cancer. These are:

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

The NHS added that long-term health risks associated with alcohol misuse include:

  • Dementia
  • Impotence
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Infertility

Do note that a small glass (125ml) of wine contains around 1.5 units.

Bearing this in mind, as little as one to two units can:

  • Speed up the heart rate
  • Expand blood vessels

Four to six units:

  • Affects brain and nervous system
  • Judgements become impaired
  • Decision-making is impaired
  • Reaction time and co-ordination seriously affected

More than eight units can cause:

  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of vision clarity
  • Slowed reaction time
  • A hangover the next day
  • Drowsiness
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
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