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Alcohol And Health: Recent Findings Roundup

Several new studies focusing on Alcohol consumption have been published recently, and the findings will be mostly disappointing for those who have been going on the assumption that moderate drinking is safe and even healthy in some ways. We’ve collected some of the ‘new evidence’…

Forest Gump Drinks Dr. Pepper - © 1984 Paramount PicturesForrest Gump never drank Alcohol: He turned out alright. But there
are drawbacks to drinking ‘about 15’ Dr. Peppers at a sitting…

Asian study debunks positive effects on stroke

A study of some 500,000 Asians has demonstrated that previous studies, published as recently as 2016, suggesting moderate Alcohol consumption may protect against ischemic stroke were wrong. The new study, a collaboration between Oxford University (US) and Peking University (PRC) this month, does not protect against cardiovascular disease, and, in fact, increases the risk of stroke. The new study was reported recently in the British Medical Association journal Lancet.

Giving up drinking increases mental well being

Conventional wisdom in medical circles has – until recently – suggested that moderate drinking may be considered a part of a healthy lifestyle. Now, a Hong King University study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that giving up drinking Alcohol entirely increases mental well being, especially in women.

“More evidence suggests caution in recommending moderate drinking as part of a healthy diet,” notes Hong Kong Co-author Dr. Michael Ni.

On the bright side…

A  new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that older adults who drink occasionally may live longer than nondrinkers.

My take

Common sense has always told us that drinking Alcohol is not good for us. Whether it’s the morning-after hangover, the development of liver disease in mid life, or cumulative effects over a lifetime of consuming what some define as a poison, all indicators point to Alcohol as a bad idea. Yet many of us routinely have a drink or two after work or with supper, and some are strongly addicted to booze in some form or another, and routinely overindulge to ease the pain of withdrawal.

Like hard drugs and smoking, drinking Alcohol abuse usually begins as social or recreational consumption and evolves to habituation and, finally, true addiction, or alcoholism. The difference between Alcohol and other forms of addiction is that booze is not strongly disapproved of in society – as smoking once was not – and is, in fact, still the norm in some cultures and social strata.

No matter how bad Alcohol (and Tobacco) may be for us, it’s hard, if not impossible for those who have adopted either habit to give it up, as long as governments condone or passively approve of the substances on which their habits depend in order to reap the reward of billions in excise taxes collected every year from their sales.

~ Maggie J.