The five biggest myths about drinking alcohol
Life & Style

The five biggest myths about drinking alcohol

IN light of the new Government guidelines about alcohol, science journalist and TV presenter Dr Michael Mosley dispels his top five myths about drinking. 

Myth 1: A unit of alcohol is a drink

“In fact, it’s nothing like that. A pint of strong lager, for example, would be three units and a large glass of wine would also be three units.”

Myth 2: Moderate drinking is safe

“Unfortunately, whatever level of alcohol you are drinking it is likely to increase your risk of some forms of cancer, particularly breast cancer but also other rarer forms of cancer like head, neck and throat. The rest are quite low at moderate drinking but they do rise rapidly.”


Myth 3: Red wine is good for you

“Now there has long been this idea that there is this marvellous stuff in red wine called resveratrol, that is said to reduce your risk of all sorts of things but unfortunately the amount you would have to consume would be so huge that the downsides to drinking red wine would swiftly overwhelm them.”

Myth 4: Mixing drinks makes you more drunk

“Really it is the amount of alcohol you have in a drink that makes you drunk, but there is something to it because we know that drinking fizzy drinks like champagne with bubbles in it opens up the muscle that controls the flow of food and alcohol from your stomach to your small intestine. So if you were to drink champagne and then follow it up with beer, the beer would pass through faster and therefore make your drunker faster.”

Myth 5: Caffeine sobers you up

“Unfortunately, once the alcohol is in your system it’s going to stay in your system until it gets properly metabolised. All that caffeine does is wake you up a bit.”

Michael Mosley is a presenter on BBC 2’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor