The effects of low-dose alcohol consumption

This report summarizes and examines the scientific evidence regarding the health effects of low-dose alcohol consumption, and discusses the implications of this research for clinical practice, low-risk alcohol consumption guidelines, and alcohol policy development. The existing evidence finding cardiovascular benefits from low-dose alcohol consumption is weak, and emerging evidence suggests that these protective effects are spurious (i.e., do not exist, or are harmful). The view that alcohol confers health benefits is therefore even less of a valid counter-argument against the adoption of effective alcohol control policies (e.g., those which reduce alcohol’s availability and affordability).


Our organisations – IOGT-NTO and the Swedish Society of Medicine – are proud to present the second in our series of reports entitled “Alcohol and Society”. Focusing on low-dose alcohol consumption is as obvious as it was important. We live in a world where the media switch rapidly, and on a daily basis, between reporting on the supposed health benefits of a glass of wine and issuing warnings about the harm of alcohol. No other area in the field of alcohol research and alcohol-related media reporting sends out as many mixed signals as low-dose alcohol use. It is our hope this report will provide greater clarity in the Swedish debate and in the media reporting on low-dose alcohol consumption.