Each year, thousands of people commit to giving up alcohol for a month, also known as “Dry January.” And while most would expect that the health benefits would only last for that month, research shows that the effects can last much longer. In a 2018 study published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers followed moderate to heavy drinkers who were otherwise healthy. One group gave up alcohol for a month, while the other drank normally. After one month, the non-drinkers had a number of health improvements – lower weight and blood pressure and lower markers for type 2 diabetes and cancer – despite no change in diet or exercise. But 6 to 8 months later, the people who gave up drinking for one month had a significant reduction in the amount of alcohol they were currently drinking, drinking less often and consuming less alcohol when they did drink.