Dispelling the myth: “The body needs alcohol”

Discussions about the Food and Drugs Authority’s ban on celebrities from advertising alcoholic beverages in the country have resurfaced after a recent Supreme Court hearing of a suit challenging the guideline.

The celebrities argue that the ban is discriminatory and risks their livelihood, but the FDA insists that the decision is in the interest of public health.

Conversations about the consumption of alcohol often come with one party expressing a myth. In one such conversation, which can be found on YouTube, a discussant says that the body needs alcohol.

“The body actually needs alcohol, so the FDA cannot say don’t promote alcohol on television. The body needs alcohol,” the discussant, identified as Eii Scanty on social media, said.

Kwadwo Sheldon Studios published the video titled “Should Ghanaian Celebs Be Allowed To Advertise Alcoholic Beverages’ Or Nah? Ft EFya Nokturnal.Within 48 hours of the publication of the video, it gained over 15,000 views.

Does the body need alcohol? 

The simple answer to the question is: No, the body does not need alcohol. This article will explains the answer using resources from the World Health Organization and other medical sources.

In fact, various medical publications have underscored the notion that total abstinence from alcohol can lead to better overall health and well-being.

“No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health.” That is the headline of a recent publication by the World Health Organization. In the article, alcohol is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, indicating that it poses a significant threat to human health.

“Alcohol is a toxic, psychoactive, and dependence-producing substance and has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer decades ago – this is the highest risk group, which also includes asbestos, radiation, and tobacco,” part of the publication reads. 

Quoting public health specialist Dr Carina Ferreira-Borges, the publication was emphatic that there was no such thing as a “safe level of alcohol use.” 

“We cannot talk about a so-called safe level of alcohol use. It doesn’t matter how much you drink – the risk to the drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage. The only thing that we can say for sure is that the more you drink, the more harmful it is – or, in other words, the less you drink, the safer it is,” explains Dr Carina Ferreira-Borges, acting Unit Lead for Noncommunicable Disease Management and Regional Advisor for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs in the WHO Regional Office for Europe. 

Essentially, since alcohol poses a significant threat to human health, it cannot be a necessity.

Other medical commentary on the subject may encourage drinking in moderation; however, this must not be mistaken to mean that alcohol consumption forms an integral part of keeping healthy.


Alcohol consumption is a choice, and there is evidence that total abstinence from alcohol can lead to better overall health and well-being.

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