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New Study Suggests We Might Have Been Wrong About Wine All Along

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For decades, scientists have been studying the effects of alcohol on the human body.

While it is agreed upon that excessive drinking can lead to some severe consequences on one's health, studies have previously determined that drinking a daily glass of certain alcoholic beverages, like wine, has some benefits.

Researchers at the University of Arizona School of Medicine have previously stated that drinking wine within safe limits can promote good cardiovascular health and prevent cognitive decline.

This is because it contains anti-oxidants that help reduce the risks of blood vessel inflammation, and wine can also raise the HDL - good cholesterol - levels in your body preventing blood clots from clogging your arteries.

Two women doing a cheers with their wine glasses
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Now, there's a new body of research stemming from scientists at another American medical school and it is quite alarming.

According to the doctors from Washington School of Medicine, the risks that accompany regular consumption of alcohol outweighed the aforementioned benefits. In fact, it can increase your risk of premature death.

After analyzing over 400,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 85, the study's lead author Dr. Sarah Hartz and her team found that those who consumed alcohol on four or more days a week on average had a 20% increase in their risk of early death.

"Now we know that even the lightest daily drinkers have an increased mortality risk,” said Hartz, whose study has been published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. "Consuming one or two drinks about four days per week seemed to protect against cardiovascular disease, but drinking every day eliminated those benefits."

Hartz also revealed that when it comes to cancer risk "any drinking at all was detrimental."

This recent observation comes on the heels of another study published in the medical journal The Lancet which concluded that countries should amend their alcohol guidelines because there are no benefits to drinking.

In the U.S., the guidelines stipulate that safe levels of drinking for men should be no more than 14 standard drinks per week. As for women, it's much lower at about seven.

Hartz added that those who are older should exercise even more caution because "as people age their risk of death from any cause also increases, so a per cent risk increase at age 75 translates into many more deaths than it does at age 25."

Still, the overall message is that even if you're young and in good shape, you "should no longer consider a glass of wine a day to somehow be healthy."

How many drinks do you have every week? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.