Four weeks abstaining from alcohol reduces risk of illnesses

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DOCTORS have warned drinkers to take month off from alcohol to prevent serious health problems later in life.

According to British research conducted by the Royal Free Hospital, abstinence from alcoholic beverages can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and heal the liver. Giving up drinking for as long as four weeks shows patients were at a low risk of developing cancer and diabetes.

Professor Kevin Moore responded to study results by saying: “There was a 40 per cent reduction in liver fat, they lost about three kilograms in weight and their cholesterol levels improved.”

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From a larger study involving 102 relatively healthy men and women in their 40s, the London researchers saw an improvement in ‘liver stiffness’- an indication of disease – reduced by 28 per cent, after candidates went four weeks without alcohol. There was also a notable loss of weight, low blood pressure, and sleeping and concentration levels had improved.

A liver specialist, Gautam Mehta, oversaw the study and said: “I am excited. There are some findings that will be pretty novel. It’s an important study, which shows the benefit from a month’s abstinence. What we can’t say is how long those benefits are, how durable those benefits are.”

The Department of Health officials are also examining results from the study and preparing a new set of guidelines for safe drinking. Women can have up to three units of alcohol a day or 14 units a week while men up to four units a day or 21 units a week.

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