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Author Topic: Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?  (Read 2533 times)

Offline doodlebug1980

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I came across an article about this book called Guilt-free Drinking: newbielink:http://guilt-free-drinking-guide-goes-on-sale-this-week-960 [nonactive] - looks a bit like spam, I'm afraid. Also the article is from a self-confessed 'Specialist Job Site for the Drinks Industry' - hardly impartial. <<Mod

I haven't read the actual book, but apparently it argues that moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers and also have less cancer and heart disease.

Does anyone know why this may be? Or could anyone point me in the direction of any studies in to the subject which I can read online? As a wine enthusiast I am pretty interested to find out!

I would guess that a glass of wine a day lowers cholesterol by de-stressing you. But how does it protect against cancer?!
« Last Edit: 03/11/2010 12:38:13 by peppercorn »


 

SteveFish

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Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/2010 23:40:24 »
Doodlebug1980, I believe that moderate drinking has been associated with some health benefits. I am not sure if the mechanisms have been worked out yet. I don't think that LDL (low density cholesterol, the bad kind) has any association with stress. I suggest that you do a series of searches on Google Scholar where you will be able to read abstracts of research papers to get the short message and there will probably be occasional full text research papers that are not behind a paywall. If you find anything interesting, please come back and report. I would be very interested. Steve
« Last Edit: 03/11/2010 23:42:59 by SteveFish »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?
« Reply #2 on: 04/11/2010 21:43:39 »
It's difficult to rule out the problem that cause and effect might work the other way here.
Do (moderate) drinkers stay healthy or do sick people stop drinking?
Either way round you would see that there was s correlation between (moderate) drinking and good health.

(Incidentally, I don't care- I choose to drink because I like to do so. Also, no matter how hard you look at the figures, you can't get away from the fact that heavy drinkers are the least healthy group)
 

Offline JnA

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Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?
« Reply #3 on: 05/11/2010 15:01:38 »
Aren't those from a Mediterranean background supposed to be enjoying a long healthy life because of olives and grappa?

 

Offline Jessica H

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Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2010 16:43:58 »


http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0216/026.html

Moderate drinkers also make more money!  They come to the same conclusion in the article as BoredChemist; the cause and effect is probably the other way around.  (If you are successful you are probably in social situations where drinking happens.)
 

SteveFish

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Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2010 21:57:52 »
Jessica H:

The article you link is a lightweight piece about the relationship between social drinking and economic status. It is written by someone at an institute that is remarkably ignorant of how science works, especially when research findings are not compatible with their political outlook. Beware these opinion pieces. If you want to find out what is actually known you will have to read someone who actually has some understanding of the science, or much better, get your information direct from the research.

Biomedical researchers aren't dummies and they know about the other relationships to health, such as socioeconomic status. In a big enough sample they can control for these other relationships. A good study of the current topic would include a statistical method that controls for economic status. The statistics are complicated, but conceptually it involves comparing the health of people with equal economic status that consume different amounts of alcohol daily to get an estimate of the effect of alcohol on health without the effect of economic status.

An example of a good study is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Nurse's Health Study that followed over 120,000 nurses over a 20 year period (there are actually several of these studies). This study did find a variety of specific health benefits from moderate drinking, but the most telling statistic was that they lived longer. Studies involving human behavior that have only a few hundred subjects might get the right answer, but it would take multiple replications before the findings could be trusted.

Steve
 

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Moderate drinking is better for you than not drinking?
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2010 21:57:52 »

 

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