Dry January

By joining the millions of people who are giving up alcohol this January, you can take control and bid the booze goodbye. By taking part you can save money and lose weight round your waistline, all in the company of others who are joining in the movement too!

Why Take Part

There are lots of reasons to take part

  • Do as a part of your new year’s resolution, feel healthier and happier
  • Get a better night’s sleep
  • Lose weight
  • Improved skin
  • The average person will spend £50000 on alcohol, imagine what you could if that money was in your pocket instead.

The inside of your body will also feel as healthy as the outside

The great sense of achievement you’ll feel when you give up alcohol

What will help me

  • There’s a great free app that track’s you’re month and help’s you stay on target, with also a calorie tracker and unit tracker and even a tool to show you how much you’ve saved.
  • Emails with lot’s of info from expert’s in alcohol make it more fun.

The Science Bit

in 2013, an experiment conducted by New Scientist staff with the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London Medical School (UCLMS) showed marked differences in the condition of those who abstained from alcohol for five weeks.

All the participants considered themselves to be “normal” drinkers. Before the test, the women had been drinking an average of 29 units a week, or four units a day, and the men typically drank 31 units.

Both are above government guidelines, but not dramatically so (the guidelines suggest men shouldn’t regularly exceed four units a day (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and women shouldn’t drink more than three units a day (equivalent to a 175ml glass of wine)).

In the test , 10 people drank no alcohol while four continued as normal. There were no significant changes in any of the parameters measured for the four people who didn’t give up alcohol. But the changes were “dramatic and consistent” across all 10 abstainers.

They included:

  • Liver fat fell on average by 15 per cent, and by almost 20 per cent in some individuals. Fat accumulation on the liver is a known prelude to liver damage
  • Blood glucose levels dropped by 16 per cent on average
  • Total blood cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, dropped by almost 5 per cent
  • Ratings of sleep quality rose by just over 10 per cent

However, UCLMS’s Rajiv Jalan, who conducted the study, said the experiment “gives no indication of how long the improvements persist”, saying: “Whether it’s 15 days or six months, we don’t know.”

Kevin Moore, consultant in liver health services at UCLMS, said: “What you have is a pretty average group of British people who would not consider themselves heavy drinkers, yet stopping drinking for a month alters liver fat, cholesterol and blood sugar, and helps them lose weight. If someone had a health product that did all that in one month, they would be raking it in.”

And Nick Sheron at the University of Southampton said: “These results show that even a relatively short period of abstinence impacts on the liver.” But he also said liver disease can develop over 30 years so a short period of abstinence needed to translate into long-term behaviour change.

The big question now, said Professor Moore, is what the long-term effects of alcohol abstinence are.

“Dry January makes you healthier, so it tells you that alcohol’s bad for you - but if you do stop drinking, are there any long-term benefits? We don’t know,” he said. “Although you can probably infer that it does have an impact. If this occurs after one month, what happens after three months?

A month off alcohol has great health benefits such as weight loss, healthier liver and saves money too.