A Bottle Of Wine A Day Is Good For You, Abstaining Is Not

Wine Glass and Bottle

This is the kind of science I can get behind:

The recommended daily allowance for alcohol consumption in Britain may well be around the size of a medium to large glass of wine depending on your gender, but a leading scientist in the field has claimed drinking just over a bottle a day would do no harm to your health.

Former World Health Organisation alcohol expert Dr Kari Poikolainen has analysed decades of research into the effects of alcohol on the human body, The Daily Mail reports.

His conclusion – drinking is only harmful when you consume more than 13 units a day – that’s four to five pints of beer or more than a bottle of wine – which typically contains around 10 units.

He also believes that drinking more than the current recommended daily intake may in fact be healthier than being a teetotaler.

“The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining – however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say,” Dr Poikolainen reportedly told The Mail.

So, drink up, it’s good for you! Science says so!

FILED UNDER: Health, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. nitpicker says:

    Wow. I thought I was the only person researching this (with, I admit, a very small sample size, consisting entirely of me).

  2. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I remember alchohol. Now the only alchohol my body gets is when I swab pre-insulin injections. :-/

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    My sincere condolences.

  4. “A Bottle Of Wine A Day Is Good For You” != “a bottle a day would do no harm to your health”

  5. Anderson says:

    So, how much Scotch is that the equivalent of? I’m … asking for a friend.

  6. mantis says:

    Abstaining is certainly better for some people.

  7. Grewgills says:

    A shot is about 2 units, so about 5 shots.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    i love science.

  9. bill says:

    that’s nothing to whine about for a change!

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    Dose that mean 2 bottles of wine a day is twice as good? My liver is telling me probably not.

  11. DrDaveT says:


    A shot is about 2 units, so about 5 shots.

    One bottle = 1/5 gallon @ 15% alcohol (these days) = 1/15 gallon at 45% alcohol. So a bottle of wine is roughly the equivalent of (64/15) ounces of cask-strength whisky, or just under 3 regular pours.

    This is awesome. My 1/2 bottle per day of wine is clearly the acme of moderation.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  13. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Shut up, you.

  14. anjin-san says:

    It’s been 25 years since I had a drink, the stuff is overrated.

  15. Grewgills says:

    I just found a unit converter online. That gave me 25mL of 80 proof as 1 unit and 61 calories. A standard shot is 1.5 oz or about 44mL, so close enough to 2 units for government work.
    Cask strength* is generally closer to 90 proof or a bit better and 2 fingers is about 2oz.
    So a 12% stronger hooch and a 33% bigger pour will get you about 2/3 the servings.

    All of that to essentially say, we are both right.

    * Cask strength unless aged very well is usually a bit to rocket fuelly for my taste.