Those purporting that daily drinking is part of a healthy diet, are facing opposition for a new study claiming that drinking alcohol every day can result in liver damage. Now UK doctors are recommending men and women who drink should have two or three alcohol-free days a week to give the liver time to recover.
While current government guidelines abroad recommend that individuals avoid drinking “regularly,” which means drinking every day or most days of the week, and that people should also take a break for 48 hours “after a heavy session” to let the body recover, physicians are claiming that the liver needs time to rest and recover from drinking even small amounts of alcohol. According to their research, there is a higher risk of liver disease for people who drink alcohol every day or nearly every day compared to people who drink less frequently.
In its letter to government, the Royal College of Physicians says the current government guideline implies daily drinking is low risk, but this “runs against evidence which suggests that frequency of drinking is a significant risk factor for the development of alcohol dependency, and the development of alcoholic liver disease.” The letter also notes that “Studies have shown an increased risk of liver cirrhosis for those who drink daily or near daily compared with those who drink periodically or intermittently.”
The letter suggests that government guidelines remedy their unclear recommendations by stating that to remain within the safe limits of alcohol consumption, individuals have three alcohol-free days a week to allow the liver to heal itself.
The Liver Institute of Virginia is led by Dr. Mitchell Shiffman. Dr. Shiffman holds a Bachelor of Arts from State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Science in physiology from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, N.M. and his Doctor of Medicine from State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond, VA. Dr. Shiffman is a member of many professional organizations including: the American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, European Association for the Study of the Liver, International Liver Transplantation Society, Richmond Academy of Medicine, Virginia Medical Society and the Virginia Gastrointestinal Society. He was a member of the Board of Trustees with the American College of Gastroenterology from 2003-2009. Dr. Shiffman has offices in Hampton Roads, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia.