If you're over 65 years old, it's time to trim your alcohol consumption, according to UK officials on June 22.
Wednesday, the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a report that advises seniors to drink a maximum of 1.5 units of alcohol a day (or 11 units a week), or about the same as a half pint of beer or a small glass of wine.
Older people are less able to metabolize alcohol, they noted, and seniors may be taking medications that can negatively interact with alcohol, increasing its intoxicating effect.
Current UK recommendations, higher than most countries, are that women drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week and men no more than 21 units, but the agency notes this is based on younger adults. In the US, men are advised to drink no more than 14 units a week, women no more than seven. (One unit in the UK equals a half pint (284 ml) or 9.6 US fl. ounces of beer, one small glass (175 ml) or 5.9 US fl. ounces of wine, or 25 ml (.85 US fl. ounces) of 80-proof distilled spirits.)
For older adults who imbibe, a good choice is red wine. Research has shown that red wine can be good for your heart by helping to block the signals of molecules that can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. But be mindful of portions: a large glass of wine served in a restaurant or bar might actually be two servings rather than one.
Read the report: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/press/pressreleases2011/ourinvisibleaddicts.aspx