Are there any health benefits from drinking alcohol?

Recent scientific evidence suggests that any purported health benefits from drinking alcohol have probably been over-estimated. Any benefits are mainly conferred on middle-aged or older men and only occur with low levels of alcohol intake (about half a standard drink per day).

Current Australian alcohol guidelines do not recommend drinking for health benefits (see FAQ: What are Australia's alcohol consumption guidelines?).

Source: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol.

Standard Drink: A drink that contains 10 grams (or 12.5 millilitres) of alcohol.