One in five adult Britons is convinced alcohol relieves stress, while as many as a quarter of Britons think alcohol is good for their health, according to a survey published by Mintel, the market analysts. Three-quarters of the 1,000 adults who took part in the January survey thought there was nothing wrong with alcohol in moderate quantities. Only 9% of those polled believed alcohol was bad for people, while 13% said their social life would not be the same without a drink. More than a quarter - 26% - said alcohol was good for the health. Amanda Lintott, consumer analyst at Mintel, said, "There could well be a number of people who believe that there are in fact health benefits from drinking alcohol of all kinds. It is not just those who are at real risk from heart disease, or those who are likely to drink red wine, who feel that alcohol can have health benefits." Anne Jenkins, from Alcohol Concern, said studies had showed alcohol in moderate amounts had some health benefits but she urged caution. "It is very much the quantities and the context in which alcohol is consumed," she said. Quite a little does you good but more doesn't do you better. The fact of going to the pub in the company of friends is equally relaxing as the alcohol itself."

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