Widely-accepted benefits of moderate drinking may be illusory

Plazma Inferno!

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The benefits of moderate drinking have been widely accepted, and new information that questions those benefits has to be looked at in the context of all the old information that established them. But when two new studies, each coming at the question differently, conclude that the benefits of moderate drinking may be illusory, it’s worth taking a closer look.


Yes quite a good and balanced article, I thought. The whole of epidemiology is fraught with risk, due to the difficulty of identifying and correcting for hidden associated factors. It seems sensible to conclude that moderate drinkers will generally tend to be people with the means, willpower and habits to take care of themselves, whereas many teetotallers may be ill to start with, or dirt poor, and heavy drinkers may be depressed, have weak willpower, poor body image and all the rest of it.

However I do draw one conclusion: if you are a moderate drinker it seems you are likely to have a lot of the right things going for you anyway and thus have a good life expectancy. So there is no reason to give up alcohol! :biggrin:
The article doesn't care about the psychological effects of alcohol. Alcohol can relax and raise happiness levels.

I once saw a study which concluded "Moderate drinkers are not healthier, but happier then the abstinent". If they are still happier even if slightly more or more often ill, question is what weighs more - being happy despite being ill more often, or being unhappy but perfectly healthy?

I have lost the sources though, but I think to value the benefits of alcohol one doesn't only need to evaluate the bodily effects but also the psychological effects.

And finally we almost never drink pure alcohol. Beer or wine come with a whole lot of other substances which all have their own effects on health. And some like the hops in the beer are also psychoactive (hops relaxes and makes sleepy). To evalute the net effect of wine, red wine, white wine or beeer or any other alcoholic beverage is even more complex that just look at pure alcohol. Some studies indicate that red wine comes with substances which can limit the bad effects of wine, up to a certain dosage. If this is right, drinking red wine is less harmful than drinking the same amount of alcohol without the other subtances which are found in the wine.

I've become quite the scptic about all studies pro or against alcohol. There are too many contributing factors, and it is really hard to evalute them all.