United Kingdom: No safe alcohol limit, new guidelines to say
Chief medical officer expected to cut recommended daily intake for men and advise drinkers to cut back two days a week
Source: The Guardian
Friday 1 January 2016
Drinkers will be advised to cut back on alcohol for at least two days a week under new public health guidelines, according to reports.
The chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, is also expected to announce a reduction in the recommended maximum daily intake of alcohol for men, dropping to the same level as that for women, the Daily Mail said.
The guidelines are to say there is no safe alcohol limit and even drinking small amounts could cause illnesses including cancer.
Davies has led a review of the current NHS guidance on alcohol, which was established more than 20 years ago. That guidance says men should not drink more than three to four units a day – up to 21 units or less a week – while women should drink no more than two to three units a day, or 14 units a week.
Scientific research since the review was launched in 2012 has suggested abstaining from alcohol could help avoid serious illness, particularly in later life.
A recent study by University College London found patients who stopped drinking alcohol for four weeks saw benefits for their liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and were also at lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease.
A report by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said experts warned that middle-aged people should be advised there was no safe level of alcohol consumption.
The proposed guidelines will be published later this month.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The chief medical officer, with advice from a group of independent experts, has reviewed current drinking guidelines. The proposals will be published in the new year.”