London: It`s said that drinking alcohol in moderation can cut the risk of dying from heart disease, but this benefit is far outweighed by the harm caused by regular drinking, claims a new Oxford study.Currently, the "safe" drinking levels in the UK are three to four units of alcohol a day for men, or two to three for women. A small glass of wine contains 1.3 units, while a pint of beer contains at least two units.But the new study, published in online journal BMJ Open, found that cutting alcohol intake to half a unit a day would avert 4,579 premature deaths in the UK each year.Based on their study, the researchers now suggested that the ideal alcohol intake to prevent chronic disease is five grams a day -- or around half a unit that is less than half a small glass of wine and a quarter of a pint of beer, the Daily Mail reported.For the study, a team from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University analysed the death toll of 11 conditions linked to long-term alcohol consumption. They included heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy and five different cancers.
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