The local branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has challenged the supposed health benefits of drinkers opting for a Dry January – saying enjoying alcohol in moderation all year round has far more health benefits.
Chris Stringer from the Sussex group said, “The health benefits of moderate drinking may explain why you meet so many people enjoying a healthy retirement who still like going for a pint of real ale in their local. The evidence also shows that sociability has significant benefits to health and well-being. You are far better off sharing a beer with friends in a pub than sitting at home drinking by yourself.”
The organisations says its claim is backed by scientific evidence too, showing that while it’s clear that drinking too much is bad for us, research shows that the advice to not drink at all in January might actually be counterproductive.”
Professor Charles Bamforth of the University of California, Davis and author of Beer, Health and Nutrition said, “It’s well known that drinking too much can cause serious health problems. Many people don’t realise that drinking in moderation has significant health benefits and that moderate drinkers have a longer life expectancy than non-drinkers. Regular moderate intake of alcohol is good for the heart and blood circulation.
“The key is a little and often. You are seriously mistaken if you think that having a month without drinking will protect you from the effects of excessive drinking for the rest of the year. The best advice is to drink moderately throughout the year.“
But it’s not just how much you drink, it’s what you drink that can make a difference, with Real Ale in particular being a great choice due it’s unique nutritional values. The great thing about beer is that it is low in alcohol and brewed from natural raw materials so it’s a good source of important nutrients such as antioxidants, B vitamins and dietary silicon that promotes strong bones. Indeed beer used to be known as liquid bread”.