The Times recently republished this piece on longevity. Most of the advise is reasonably sound, but it does include this:
It’s O.K. to drink red wine. “A glass of wine is better than a glass of water with a Mediterranean meal.”
If only it were true. Unfortunately, there is good reason to doubt this much promoted advice. See for example, this recent article by Dr. Mirkin:
A study from New Zealand shows that 30 per cent of alcohol–related deaths are from cancer, and 60 per cent of those deaths are from breast cancer. One third of these deaths were associated with an average of fewer than two drinks a day (Drug Alcohol Rev, June 16, 2016). However, the more you drink, the more likely you are to develop certain cancers. Alcohol increases risk for cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, breast, cervix, vulva, vagina, skin, bladder, lung, stomach, skin, prostate and pancreas, and for leukemia and multiple myeloma.
For many years it was claimed that low levels of alcohol consumption had health benefits. More recently, we have learned that the harm of alcohol is dose dependent, the more you drink, the greater the risk to your health. It is quite possible that low levels of exposure pose very little risk, but the optimal level of consumption appears to be zero.