A small study (Coghlan, 2014) reported in New Scientist this month and carried out on 14 of its staff members suggests that moderate drinking can have significant negative effects on measures of health and that giving up for a short time can conversely have significant benefits. 10 of the subjects (who considered themselves ‘normal’ drinkers) gave up alcohol for a month and the remaining 4 continued as usual. The study found surprising differences in measures of health; blood glucose fell 23% on average, liver fat by 15% and cholesterol was also significantly reduced. Liver fat accumulation is associated with liver damage and blood glucose is a fundamental measure of long-term health; to achieve such reductions in such as short time by eliminating a moderate amount of alcohol is startling.


Coghlan, AQ. (2014) Here’s to a dry January, New Scientist, 2950, p.6-7