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New guidelines 'tell drinkers to cut back on booze'

Drinkers will be advised to cut back on alcohol for at least two days each week under new public health guidelines, according to reports.

Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies is also expected to announce a reduction in the maximum daily intake for men to the same level as for women, the Daily Mail said.

The report is to say there is no "safe" alcohol limit and even drinking small amounts could cause illnesses including cancer.

Dame Sally has led a review into the current NHS guidance on alcohol, which were established more than 20 years ago.

Current guidelines say men should not drink more than three to four units per day - up to 21 units or less per week - while women should drink no more than two to three units a day, or 14 units per week.

Scientific research since the review was launched in 2012 has suggested abstaining from alcohol could help avoid serious illness, particularly in later life.

A recent study by University College London found patients who gave up for four weeks saw benefits for their liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and were also at lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease.

And a report by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said experts warned middle-aged people should be advised there is "no safe level of alcohol consumption".

The proposed guidelines will be published later this month.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: " The chief medical officer, with advice from a group of independent experts, has reviewed current drinking guidelines. The proposals will be published in the New Year."

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