A leading scientist is convinced that drinking a bottle of wine daily is good for you while abstaining is worse than drinking.
Former World Health Organisation (WHO) alcohol expert Dr Kari Poikolainen reportedly believes alcohol is only harmful when you consume over 13 units in a day.
Having analysed decades of research into the effects of alcohol on the human body, Dr Poikolainen concluded that drinking more than the current recommended daily intake may in fact be healthier than being a teetotaller.
“The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining – however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say,” Dr Poikolainen told The Mail.
Dr Poikolainen, who is the author of “Perfect Drinking and its Enemies”, holds that “Drinking is essential to health. Perfect drinking, be it wine, beer, liquor, water, coffee or tea, brings about health benefits, tastes good and helps you to enjoy life more.”
In his book he provides evidence and suggests ways to hone drinking skills.
”There are four enemies of perfect drinking: abstinence, alcoholism, inadequate information and myopic alcohol policies. For most of us, moderate drinking is better than abstinence. Moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say,” he said.
Julia Manning from think-tank 2020Health, however doesn’t agree with Dr Poikolainen’s conclusion. “This is an unhelpful contribution to the debate. It makes grand claims which we don’t see evidence for. Alcohol is a toxin, the risks outweigh the benefits,” she told The Mail.