Story highlights

Scientists did a review of 87 studies about health and alcohol

They didn't see the positive health impact some headlines tout

There may be a bias in how the studies group drinkers

CNN —  

Now here’s some news that may have you crying into your beer. Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, may not improve your health after all.

Over the years we’ve all seen the studies that show a glass of wine a day may help protect you from developing heart disease, will help with cancer and keep type 2 diabetes away, and will ultimately help you live longer. But this new research may be a buzz kill for those who like to drink in moderation. Toasting to your health may actually be an oxymoron.

So, belly up to the bar and we’ll explain what the scientists behind this new meta-analysis running in the latest edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs think happened with the earlier studies that show the health benefits of moderate drinking.

This team of scientists looked at a wide variety of studies on the topic, specifically looking at alcohol’s impact on mortality. Narrowing their list down to 87 studies, the authors found the majority of them may have been coming to conclusions based on what the authors label as “biased” data.

It’s not that the other scientists were working under the influence of the industry or something more potent. This latest study found that when those other studies divide people into groups they typically put them into common categories: heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers, occasional drinkers and abstainers.

What the new study found is that the abstainer group isn’t only made up of people who have never touched a drop. Instead, some in this group may be recovering alcoholics. Some may also be abstaining now because of a health condition. In general, those two groups of people in the abstainer category are not as healthy as those who are lifelong teetotalers, research shows. That means these less healthy people skew the data. So, the mode