Alcohol fasting in January - healthy start to the new year

Alcohol fasting in January - healthy start to the new year

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Can one-month abstinence from alcohol be beneficial for health?

Instagram is currently flooded with posts with the hashtag #DryJanuary. What is meant is the annual tradition of some people to spend the first month of the year without alcohol. For many, it is a resolution to drink less and detoxify the body in the New Year. What does alcohol abstinence do for your health? Experts claim that the approaches to why you want to do without alcohol at all are decisive for whether alcohol fasting is effective or not.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with stopping or restricting alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption and intoxication can lead to various negative health effects, as numerous studies have already shown. For example, excessive drinking increases the risk of certain diseases, including breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and liver problems, and can lead to sleep disorders. "A one-month break from drinking won't necessarily turn the clock back," says American health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider told Self magazine. According to Wider, the one-month alcohol break is good for health, but not a free ticket to drink the rest of the year without restraint.

Those who drink more alcohol notice a greater difference in abstinence

George F. Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), also told Self: "The biggest benefit is learning where your body is in relation to alcohol and what you want to achieve with it." If someone is not feeling well and suspects that their regular drinking habits are responsible, it may be helpful to see how they feel when they (or they) do not drink alcohol for a month. According to Koob, the results of alcohol fasting depend on how much you drank before. Someone who drinks occasionally does not notice as much of a difference as someone who often consumes four or more alcoholic drinks a week.

What health benefits can be expected after one month of abstaining from alcohol?

According to Koob, one of the main benefits of alcohol fasting can be a reduction in the total calories you consume, since a standard drink usually has around 150 calories. In this way, a weight reduction could possibly be brought about without completely changing the diet. Furthermore, abstaining from alcohol would result in many people going out less at night, sleeping more and doing more sports. "All of this can affect how productive you are, how focused you are, and how you feel overall," Koob told Self.

The snowball effect for the immune system

When it comes to the immune system, the snowball effect of positive health habits - triggered by abstaining from alcohol - can have a major impact. According to Koob, alcohol poisoning can strongly suppress the immune system's function, making it more susceptible to diseases.

What is a safe measure of alcohol consumption?

"Some people will not like to hear it, but there is no safe measure of alcohol consumption," the World Health Organization wrote on its website. Of course, there is a measure that is associated with a lower risk, but the WHO deliberately does not set any upper limits, since it has been scientifically proven that complete abstinence from alcohol is by far the best from a health point of view. According to the WHO, alcohol consumption is closely associated with around 60 different diagnoses, although there is almost always a close dose-response relationship. That means: the higher the consumption, the higher the risk of illness. Less alcohol is better. (fp)

Author and source information

Video: My First 30 Days Sober (June 2022).


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