Alcohol Health Benefits: How Much Is Too Much?

The latest health research offers good reasons to raise a glass to toast your health: Drinking alcohol in moderation has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and even kidney stones.

But there is a “Goldilocks Effect” when it comes to drinking. Knowing how much is too much is the key to maximizing the health benefits of alcohol. Research suggests, for most men, that just-right sweet spot is two drinks per day; for women, it’s one.

Experts note, however, that even these one-size-fits-all guidelines aren’t appropriate for everyone and that other individual factors must also be taken into account.

For instance, a new study published last month in the American Journal of Public Health found that the heart-healthy benefits of moderate drinking are not the same for whites as blacks and vary by sex.