Why Is There So Much Conflicting Advice About How Much We Should Drink?

So many studies have been done, and yet we have no clear answer

Why Is There So Conflicting Advice About How Much We Should Drink?

by Phoebe Parke |

There are so many conflicting messages about how much we should be drinking – does anyone know how much is too much anymore?

Just this week a study claimed that light drinkers have lower cancer risk than non-drinkers, but the line from health experts has always been that drinking is bad for you – right?

Just like with food, these mixed messages are leaving us more confused than ever.

During an eight-year study, scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast found that people who drank lightly (between one and three drinks a week) had the lowest risk of early death and cancer. But that cancer risk increases with every drink over that amount each week.

This study was carried out to help combat all the confusion around drinking, and included 99,654 participants between the ages of 55 and 74 in the US.

READ MORE: Here Are The Best Natural Anti-Depressants

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Discover: Natural Anti Depressants

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Omega-3 fatty acids are essential minerals which reduce inflammation and are vital to brain functions such as mood and memory. Your body doesn't produce them naturally so you can only get them in you via food (like fish, nuts and seeds) or dietary supplements.

Natural Anti Depressants
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In addition to bone health, Vitamin D can play a vital role in the areas of the brain that are linked to the development of depression and other mental health problems.

Natural Anti Depressants
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SAMe is a molecule that the body naturally forms and is available as a dietary supplement. In addition to depression and anxiety, it can be used for many other conditions including heart disease, fibromyalgia, tendonitis and many more. It is also recommended for PMS. It works by making sure that chemicals in the body that play a role in pain, depression, liver disease, and other conditions, actually do their job.

Natural Anti Depressants
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Like SAMe, 5-HTP is also a chemical (an essential amino acid) that the body makes naturally. It works by helping to raise the serotonin (the happy hormone) levels in the brain. 5-HTP has been known to have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain.

Natural Anti Depressants
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A study conducted on whether the Rhodiola Rosea (Roseroot) herb was effective for depression showed that it was almost as effective as the popular antidepressant, Sertraline (Zoloft), but with fewer side effects. The herb boasts strengthening the nervous system, fighting depression, enhancing the immune system and memory, elevating stamina, aiding in weight-loss and increasing sexual function.

Natural Anti Depressants
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A lot of adults, especially women, suffer from iron deficiency, and guess what? Iron deficiency symptoms are pretty similar to depression symptoms, i.e. fatigue, irritability, and foggy brain. The recommended daily iron allowance in adults is roughly 8 to 18 mg daily (check with your doctor though because everyone's number is different).

Natural Anti Depressants
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If you don't have enough folate, antidepressants may not work. Some docs prescribe folate along with antidepressants to treat depression and improve the effectiveness the medication. Most adults need at least 0.4mg daily, which you can though food including dark leafy greens, beans and citrus fruit, or as a supplement.

Natural Anti Depressants
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Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins can play a role in producing mood-affecting brain chemicals and low levels of these may be linked to depression. If you have a poor diet and the body can not absorb enough B vits, your mood can be severely affected. Getting a blood test will determine how much of the B goodness you have in your system, and whether you need to stock up. B vitamins are found in animal products like milk, fish, meat and eggs, so if you are a vegan, you should definitely be getting your B's from dietary supplements and vitamins.

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Zinc is crucial to our system as it activates our digestive enzymes breaking down food, and helps prevent food allergies, which can avert depression. It also helps our DNA to produce and repair proteins, control inflammation and boost our immune system.

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Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which you get through food such as bananas, tamarind, oats, sesame seeds, kiwi and watermelon. Once in the body, it converts to niacin, serotonin and melatonin. Most antidepressants work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain and Tryptophan helps to increase serotonin levels without the extreme side effects of meds.

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St John's Wort has been around for yonks and is one of the most popular natural methods used for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It's a plant with yellow flowers. There has been some scientific evidence that St. John's wort may be helpful in treating mild depression. It's been claimed that it works just like regular antidepressants in that it inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

‘This study provides further insight into the complex relationship between alcohol consumption, cancer incidence, and disease mortality and may help inform public health guidelines,’ the researchers who carried out this study said.

The public health guidelines currently state that men and women shouldn’t drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis, should spread drinking over 3 or more days rather than have all those units on one day, and should have some alcohol-free days.

This new Queen’s University study in more evidence that we have to accept there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to drinking, but that a few drinks a week might not be as bad for our health as some of us imagined.

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