National Nutrition Month®: Liver disease and nutrition expert available to discuss pros and cons of moderate alcohol consumption

    Craig McClain, M.D.



    March is National Nutrition Month, when the United States Department of Agriculture and nutrition experts focus on healthy eating. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published in January, does not classify alcoholic beverages as part of a food group, but identifies them as an “other dietary component.” The guidelines advise that moderate alcohol intake is acceptable within specific limits (1 drink per day for women, 2 drinks a day for men), but caution that excessive consumption of alcohol is detrimental to health.

    Craig McClain, M.D., professor of internal medicine and pharmacology and toxicology at UofL School of Medicine and vice president for translational research, says this level of moderate alcohol may actually benefit your health.

    McClain says multiple research studies show that moderate intake of alcohol protects against coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, and leads to improved kidney function and a decrease in rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to note that the positive effect declines sharply if the consumption increases beyond the moderate level of 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.

    McClain is the director of UofL’s Alcohol Research Center, which focuses on the role of nutrition in the development and treatment of alcohol-induced organ injury. For more than 35 years, McClain has conducted research in liver disease, nutrition and toxicology. His current research is investigating the effects of obesity, nutrition, and toxins on the liver.

    McClain is available for interview with the media on moderate alcohol use and other nutritional topics.

    To schedule an interview with Dr. McClain, contact Betty Coffman at 502-852-4573 or



    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.