What Happens to My Body During Dry January?

Q: What are the health effects of Dry January? Can cutting back on alcohol for a month have long-term benefits?

Champagne, eggnog, mulled wine — for many, the holiday season is a time for celebration, which typically involves copious amounts of alcohol. So it’s no surprise that an estimated 15 to 19 percent of U.S. adults in recent years have pledged to participate in Dry January, or “Drynuary,” in an effort to atone for their December choices and, hopefully, slightly unpickle their livers.

There’s been little research into what, exactly, a month off alcohol can do for your health. And the benefits will depend on how much and how frequently you drank before, said Danielle Dick, a professor and director of the Rutgers Addiction Research Center.

But, Dr. Dick added, we do know that alcohol has numerous and varied effects on the body, “so presumably, regardless of how much you drink, you will see improvements across many areas.”

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