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The Recommended Alcohol Intake per Week

By Dr. Ann M. Hester

The publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" recommends up to one daily drink for women and up to two for men. Moderate alcohol consumption might decrease the risk of heart disease for some; however, to be safe, certain people should completely abstain from alcohol. These include pregnant women, those with a personal or strong family history of alcoholism and those who have had a prior stroke due to bleeding into the brain.

Definition of a Drink

According to "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010," one drink is defined as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce bottle of beer or 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof liquor. A woman's body breaks down alcohol differently than a man's, and this is why women and men may react differently to drinking the same amount of alcohol. The variation is due in part to a difference in the enzyme that breaks down the alcohol.

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