LONDON, U.K. (CBS Atlanta) — One day alcohol is getting a bad rap, the next, it’s a life-saver.

However in a recent study out of London, alcohol was shown to help women over the age of 65 live longer lives, Live Science reports.

Researchers found that women over the age of 65 who drank no more than five alcoholic beverages a week were 27 percent less likely to die compared to those who did not.

These results did not hold true for men of the same age group.

Instead, men ages 50-64 who drank did live longer but without the protective factor of alcohol.

The study also found that drinking did not help women ages 50-64.

Lead researcher Craig Knott, a doctoral candidate of epidemiology and public health at University College London, says he set out on this study because the underrepresented elderly population in alcohol and health benefits research.

For him, “it was unclear whether the effects of alcohol consumption in working-age populations would necessarily extend to older individuals,” Knott told Live Science.

The study examined the Health Survey of England, an annual survey that asks questions related to health, including one’s weekly alcohol intake. The researchers of this particular study looked at 53,000 participants.

Over the course of the six to 10 year study, roughly 8,300 participants died.

The findings seem to add to the plethora of studies that say that alcohol consumption is beneficial the health, but researchers urge that other factors such as selection bias and too few participants.

This, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta reporting that 29,001 people died from alcohol-induced incidents, paints a very different picture.

For now, the jury is still out on how helpful or harmful alcohol is to the human body, but it should be good news for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who admittedly said she “wasn’t 100 percent sober” during President Obama’s State of the Union.

The study was published in the journal BMJ.



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