The healthiest amount of alcohol consumption is zero.
Experts on liver disease advocate less consumption, less advertising and higher prices for alcoholic beverages.
If you want to look after your liver and you can’t completely abstain from alcohol, you need to have at least three consecutive days a week alcohol-free. Even then, only by taking alcohol in moderation for the other four days, combined with a healthy diet, will avoid damage to your liver.
That was the key message from a conference held by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and The Lancet.
Prof. Nick Sheron, a clinical adviser to Public Health England, told the conference that in general, liver disease impacted on a younger demographic.
“In Europe, chronic liver disease has a substantial impact on young and middle-aged individuals in their prime working years, with the peak age of death occurring in the late 40s and early 50s. This contrasts with mortality from smoking-related and other obesity-related illnesses, such as lung cancer or type 2 diabetes, for which deaths typically occur in the 60s and 70s,” he said.
Experts were unanimous on the two key tools needed to reduce alcohol consumption: raise the price and reduce the marketing.
“It’s well documented that the price of alcohol matters. Wales and Scotland put a minimum price (on alcohol) and overnight it lowered consumption,” said Aleksander Krag, Vice-Secretary of EASL.
They also recommend a complete social and digital media ban on the marketing of alcohol.