Drinking alcohol more effective than exercise for living a long life, study finds

IRVINE, Calif. (KSTU) – Drinking alcohol could be more important than exercise when it comes to living a long life, researchers say.

The 90+ Study from the University of California, Irvine seeks to find out why people in the fastest growing age group in the United States – the “oldest-olds” – live as long as they do.

Those who like to indulge in a moderate of alcohol should also enjoy the findings of neurologist Claudia Kawas and her team, who have been studying 1,700 nonagenarians since 2003.

After analyzing the habits and behaviors of 1,700 people in their 90s, they found that consuming roughly two glasses of alcohol or wine a day lessened the chance of an early death by 18 percent, according to The Independent. A moderate amount of coffee cut the likelihood by 10 percent.

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer
See Gallery
10 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer

Read on for some good reasons to drink beer — always in moderation, of course!

Stronger Bones

Beer has pretty decent levels of silicon, an element that is associated with bone health. A 2009 study at Tufts found that older individuals who enjoyed one or two glasses of beer or wine every day had higher bone density. However, the study found that consuming more than two drinks was associated with a greater risk of bone fractures.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Good for Kidneys

A study in 2011 found that beer could help to decrease the risk of developing kidney stones. The researchers found that beer lowered the chance of kidney stones in men when compared to other alcoholic beverages. They thought that this was due to the high water content of beer and its diuretic effect.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Good for Heart

In a study involving 200,000 subjects, researchers found that those who drank a pint of beer daily had a 31 percent reduced chance of heart disease. However, the risk increased in participants who drank higher amounts.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Source of Fiber

Beer is made of barley, which contains a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucans, which are credited with lowering cholesterol levels.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Brain Health

Research found that drinking one beer a day decreased mental decline in older women by 20 percent.

Image Credit: Getty Images

B Vitamins

Beer is a good source of B vitamins like folate, riboflavin, niacin and more. Just one 12-ounce beer contains 12.5 percent of your daily vitamin B6. B vitamins help to keep your heart healthy.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Reduced Risk of Heart Attack

An Israeli study found that drinking one beer a day was associated with a reduced risk of heart attack.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Lower Blood Pressure

Wine is often lauded for being great for the heart, but beer is equally as good. A Harvard study found that women aged 25 to 40 who drank beer moderately were less likely to develop high blood pressure than women who drank wine or other alcoholic beverages.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Reduce Cancer Risk

There is a cancer-preventing agent in beer called xanthohumol, which helps to fight off cancer-causing enzymes.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Prevents Blood Clots

A study found an association between moderate alcohol consumption and a decreased risk of developing diabetes.

Image Credit: Getty Images


The paper quoted Dr. Kawas saying at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Austin, Texas, “I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”

Those who practice a hobby for a couple hours each day were found to have a 21 lower risk of dying younger, and exercise made a premature death 11 percent less likely, according to The Independent.

The study also found that those participants who were slightly overweight – but not obese – had a better chance of living longer.

However, while the UCI researchers found a link between these daily habits and a long life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the lifestyle choices caused the participants to live to 90.

The study is ongoing and anyone who is interested in participating can contact 949.768.3635 or study90@uci.edu for more information.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners