How much alcohol is actually safe?

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What exactly do health experts mean when they talk about people restricting their alcohol intake to a certain number of units a week?

The question is one Mr Pendle has often mulled over, and it came back to him recently as he celebrated his birthday with friends in one of his favourite watering holes in Colne.

We are told by those supposedly in the know that half a pint of beer is classed as a single unit, and we should drink no more than a certain number of units each week.

But that seems to Mr Pendle to be a sweeping generalisation designed to scare everyone into being stay-at-home recluses and keeping them out of the pubs where they can relax and socialise for an hour or two.

Allow Mr Pendle to expand on this theory.

His favourite tipples in his watering holes are bitter beers with a volume of between 3.7 and 4% – but there are bitters, lagers and ciders served in the same pubs with volumes approaching double those figures.

So, can someone tell him – what is the difference between a half pint of his beer and the stronger ones when it comes to calculating the damage caused by drinking above the recommended number of units?

Mr Pendle has asked doctors and nurses during his routine health check-ups and they do not know the answer.

Which begs the obvious question – if they do not know, how are the rest of us supposed to?