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Thousands of lives could be saved if Britons slashed their booze consumption, new research suggests.

Cutting average daily alcohol intake to the equivalent of around half a small glass of wine would prevent almost 4,600 premature deaths a year in England alone, it is claimed.

Scientists used a mathematical model to show that the ideal level of alcohol consumption to prevent chronic disease in England was five grams, or about half a unit.

A small 125 glass of wine contains 1.3 units. Current Government guidelines of between three to four units per day for men and two to three for women “may not be compatible with optimum protection of public health,” say the authors.

Scientists led by Professor Martin Jarvis, from University College London, calculated the death toll impact of 11 conditions known to be linked to long term alcohol consumption.

Today we ask: Will you drink too much over the extended bank holiday?