Thought this was an interesting article. Data increasingly says that alcohol is bad for you, leading to public health guidelines against it. Alcohol companies fight back saying it is bad science. Reminds me of the anti global warming crowd funded by oil companies.
pretty much every study i’ve read states that moderate alcohol consumption results in better heart health, generally helps prevent diseases and conditions caused by stress and improves general mood (i.e. reduces general anxiety/depression) BUT that it comes with a higher risk of cancer (liver, bladder and colorectal cancer in particular) and cirrhosis. some studies have stated that the reason for the heightened cancer and cirrhosis risk is due to alcohol blocking the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin d.
aren’t most of these studies funded by universities and not alcohol companies? what is this? the 1950s?
most studies i’ve read say that 2-5 standard drinks per day is beneficial. there is broad agreement that 6+ per day is worse than abstaining, that said the health risk is not much worse than abstaining at that point. alcohol is only really bad for you if you’re having 10+ a day and you have no days where you take a break.
type of drink matters too. vitamin and yeast rich craft beer is obviously more healthful than a domestic and wine is obviously more healthful than scotch.
^ not anymore. the current ama guidelines are based on research from 50 years ago which concluded that alcohol is all bad, no good. the 7 drinks max per week guideline the ama provided has been disproved. newer guidelines that most doctors provide are to prevent dependence not improve general health. i believe the new medical guidelines are 1-2 drinks per day max, and to not drink at all twice per week, so as to cut the cycle of dependence and habit.
broad consensus (i.e. virtually no researcher contests it) is that 2-3 drinks per day for a man, and 1-2 drinks per day for a woman is beneficial. the latest few studies i’ve read conclude that there is a marginal benefit to drinking 4-5 but that 6+ results in much higher risks.
let’s stick to the 2-3 per day which is the broader consensus number. ~500 calories per day is a lot but if it is substituting other consumption (i.e. pop and juice, which are toxic) it doesn’t matter. i’m fairly certain most studies would have tried to focus on alcohol’s effect on the body, not including the impact of calories. obviously if you’re taking in 500 more calories than needed per day, you’re going to become overweight and unhealthy.
relieves stress, thins blood. many bad things that cause early death come from being in stressful environments. i think a major benefit that isn’t captured or stated outright from many of these studies is that alcohol is often consumed in a social setting. e.g. 2-3 drinks per day while socializing and building/strengthening your support network versus stuffing doritos and jolt cola in your mouth playing call of duty. those who drink and have the self-control to hold themselves to 2-3 drinks per day are likely to show positive behaviours and success in other areas (e.g. fitness, employment, family, etc). i’ve seen some studies conclude that much of the benefit probably comes from inherent demeanor of the moderate drinking group and i’ve seen some studies state that alcohol is the reason for better health outright.
most newer studies are sure to remove the social engagement factor. moderate drinking comes with pros and cons. the 2-5 drinks per day range is where the pros beat the cons. less than 2, cons overtake, over 5, cons overtake. between 2-5 drinks/day, the benefits of better heart health and regulation of many of the bodies systems outweighs the cons associated with higher risk of certain cancers. it’s not like alcohol is some magic elixir. it simply helps prevent early death due to regulating systems that typically result in early death (heart problems including regulation of cholesterol and blood flow, diabetes) while increasing the risk of things that typically kill you when you’re old (cancer, liver diseases). by consuming alcohol moderately, you’re decreasing your chances of instant or near-term death for a higher chance of death in your later years. where do i sign up?
Are these heart health benefits and “regulation of bodily systems” only obtained from drinking alcohol? Basically are you telling me that if someone doesn’t drink at all they are more likely to die than 2 drinks per day person?