Moderate drinkers could be less at risk of depression than teetollers, according to a study carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
The study followed 5,000 adults over a decade and considered their history of depression, drinking habits, income and age.
The results showed that the participants who consumed up to 14 units per week faced a 5% chance of suffering from depression.
Teetotallers were 70% more likely to suffer depression than those in the 14 units per week category.
Drinkers consuming more than the 14 units per week, were 80% more likely to suffer depression.
Dr Katalin Gemes headed up the study. She said: “Taking part in social gatherings may explain why the risk of depression was lower.”
Experts also believe there may be physical benefits to moderate drinking. It can release ‘feel good’ chemicals in the body such as serotonin, and also boost healthy bacteria in the gut.
Sir Cary Lynn Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester University, said: “Going to the pub helps people unburden themselves. The tricky bit is knowing how much — too much is bad for mental and physical health.”
However, there have been medical studies in the past that state there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.
The BBC reported in 2018 that a study published in medical journal the Lancet claimed “researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections”.