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Turning your back on the turps for the month of January may seem like a good idea after the excesses of Christmas, and even be raising some cash for a good cause, but scientists say the practice could be doing you more harm than good.

TV doctor Christian Jessen says taking part in such charity concepts as Cancer Research UK’s Dryathon or Alcohol Concern’s Dry January, which asks people to seek sponsorship to stay off the booze for January, could be detrimental to your health.

Dr Jessen writes in the Daily Mail that it’s “poppycock” to suggest giving booze up cold turkey for a month is good for you, because “most people are giving up alcohol in January just so they can go back to boozing with a vengeance in February”.

“The very idea of it sums up the extent of the problem we as a nation have with alcohol,” he says. “It says a lot if we think abstaining from drink for 31 days is a massive achievement.”

Other doctors and scientists agree, saying it’s better for us to steer clear of the laughing liquid for two days a week all year than going cold turkey for a month.

The Royal College of Physicians gave gave evidence to the House of Commons’ science and technology committee in 2011 saying two or three alcohol-free days a week is the safest way to engage with the substance. The British Liver Trust agrees.

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Giving up alcohol for January could do you more harm than good, says scientists
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