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Changes to guidance on booze limit

By Jane Kirby

Published 08/01/2016

No level of regular drinking is without risks to health, the UK's chief medical officers have said as they published a raft of changes to advice on drinking alcohol.

The new guidance sweeps away recommendations made in 1995 and takes account of new evidence on the increased risk of developing cancer from drinking as well as the harms from binge-drinking.

The guidance says pregnant women should avoid alcohol altogether as there is no evidence for a "safe" drinking level in pregnancy.

Men should also consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, down from the previous 21 units, bringing them into line with the recommendations for women of no more than 14 units a week.

People are also being advised to have several booze-free days a week and not to "save up" their 14 units for a binge-drinking session.

For those who do drink up to 14 units a week, the new advice says people should spread their drinking across three days or more. When drinking on a single occasion, the officers say people should limit the amount of alcohol they drink on any occasion.

They should also drink more slowly, consume it with food, and alternate alcohol with water.

The new guidance also says evidence that alcohol - such as red wine - is beneficial for health "is considered less strong than it was".

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