The Distilled Spirits Council is marking “April – Alcohol Awareness Month” by reminding adult consumers to embrace moderation year-round.

“Enjoying a cocktail is a pleasurable part of an adult lifestyle, but moderation is essential,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “While Alcohol Awareness Month is a good time for people to reflect on their alcohol consumption, responsible drinking should be practiced every month of the year.”

The 2016 Surgeon General’s Report on alcohol states, “the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americansindicate that moderate alcohol use can be part of a healthy diet, but only when used by adults of legal drinking age.”

According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.  The Guidelinesdefine a drink-equivalent as 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% ABV), 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV) and 12 ounces of regular beer (5% ABV).  The Guidelinespoint out that each of these drinks contains 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of pure alcohol.

Most recently, a study of 1.9 million adults published March 22 in theBritish Medical Journal concludes that moderate alcohol consumption (beer, spirits or wine) is associated with a reduction in the risk of several cardiovascular diseases compared to non-drinkers or heavy drinkers. This finding is supported by four decades of studies with similar results.

Distillers do not recommend that anyone drink alcohol products for potential health benefits. Alcohol abuse can cause serious health and other problems, and even drinking in moderation may pose health risk for some people.

If you have questions regarding alcohol and health, discuss the potential risks and potential benefits of consuming alcohol with a physician. Together, you can determine what is best based upon individual risk factors including family history, genetics and lifestyle.