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Beer Medicine Science

Alcohol Is Good for Your Heart -- Most of the Time (time.com) 125

Alcohol, in moderation, has a reputation for being healthy for the heart. Drinking about a glass of wine for women per day, and two glasses for men, is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease. From a report on Time: A new study of nearly two million people published in The BMJ adds more evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol appear to be healthy for most heart conditions -- but not all of them. The researchers analyzed the link between alcohol consumption and 12 different heart ailments in a large group of U.K. adults. None of the people in the study had cardiovascular disease when the study started. People who did not drink had an increased risk for eight of the heart ailments, ranging from 12 percent to 56 percent, compared to people who drank in moderation. These eight conditions include the most common heart events, such as heart attack, stroke and sudden heart-related death.
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Alcohol Is Good for Your Heart -- Most of the Time

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  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @01:32PM (#54103683)

    I really hate these studies, because they don't give us actionable information.
    What I'd like to see:

    -Those that never drank in their lives vs those that drank moderately vs those that were heavy drinkers at a younger age and drink moderately now vs those that were moderate drinkers and quit, and several other permutations.
    -"Drinks per day/week" replaced with "ml of pure alcohol per kg of body weight, per day/week". A woman drinking a "glass" of wine at 110 lbs is not the same as a man drinking a "beer" at 300 lbs, and both the wine and the beer can vary wildly from one size glass to another, or a 5% standard beer vs a 7-10% craft beer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I really hate these studies, because they don't give us actionable information.
      What I'd like to see:

      -Those that never drank in their lives vs those that drank moderately vs those that were heavy drinkers at a younger age and drink moderately now vs those that were moderate drinkers and quit, and several other permutations.
      -"Drinks per day/week" replaced with "ml of pure alcohol per kg of body weight, per day/week". A woman drinking a "glass" of wine at 110 lbs is not the same as a man drinking a "beer" at 300 lbs, and both the wine and the beer can vary wildly from one size glass to another, or a 5% standard beer vs a 7-10% craft beer.

      Also, correlation is not causation. Perhaps those who can afford to pop open a wine bottle daily also have a better diet and a healthier lifestyle overall.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Generally speaking you should never, ever change your behavior based on the results of a single study -- even a controlled, double-blind study, much less an epidemiological survey. You should wait for a comprehensive literature review paper in a high-impact peer reviewed journal before you consider a result reliable.

        That said, correlation is still quite valuable -- to researchers. Science doesn't have the resources to come up with quick, definitive answers on a question like this, involving a complex syst

    • A scientifically-standard drink is 10mL of pure ethanol in carrier medium.

      • A scientifically-standard drink is 10mL of pure ethanol in carrier medium.

        Yet a standard drink is useless without a standard amount of blood for said drink to swim through before it hits the brain.

        • And yet humans produce variable amounts of ADH, even within the same person depending on what is going on with them... so you can't calculate anything meaningful to the precision you're asking for.
    • For the study to be meaningful it needs to be a controlled randomized trial, not an observational study with plenty of confounders.

  • Not every day (Score:4, Interesting)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @01:32PM (#54103689) Journal
    I don't drink every day. When I do it feels like a habit and it is less enjoyable, so I limit myself to one or two drinks a week. How many people fall into this group?
  • Are the people likely to have heart problems report high levels of perceived stress?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lowering stress leads to a longer, healthier life.

    More at 11.

    • Except drinking increases your risk of certain cancers [cancer.gov]. Which is pretty stressful in itself...
    • BINGO! (or YAHTZEE! if you prefer)

      THIS issue is the primary one I really want to see categorized - - - Do the 'moderate' drinkers have a less stressful life style because they occasionally consume a bit of alcohol _vs_ the teetotallers that don't drink at all (for whatever reason) and the related stresses of the teetotallers lifestyle of FORCED exclusion of relaxing lifestyle issues.

      Basically, is the occasional drinker more likely to have a better life-orientation due to the 'tolerant' attitude . . . and

  • The linked article quotes relative risk ratios for specific ailments without giving the baseline. This is a sure sign of an incompetent journalist and hides the actiual result.

    E.G. 10% increase of dying of X
    Compared with: Probability of dying from X went from 0.001 to 0.0011.

  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @01:50PM (#54103815)
    Usual headline for article about studies performed by doctors, studies funded by companies in the Napa county area of Calif when wine sales are sluggish. Need positive articles to help boost sales. I haven't RFTA, done data analysis on wine sales, but I wonder at times...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I once met a woman who had been a lobbyist for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS [discus.org]) and was involved in promoting the "one drink a day is healthful" idea in the 1980's. I asked her if she got free booze for life. She said, "Oh yes!"

    • A small glass of grape juice has health benefits too. Most of the time fruits and vegetables with dark pigments are powerful antioxidants. While I'm not sure if those antioxidants help with heart disease, it would be interesting to see if non-alcoholic options prove to be beneficial.

      Briefly there was a grape juice on the market made with wine grape varieties and it was really good. It's the variety of grape that stands out the most in the flavor of wine, so the juice tasted basically like wine. Maybe not as

      • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

        variety of grape that stands out the most in the flavor of wine,

        I'm wondering perhaps the grape contents is what is good, instead of eating a lot of grapes you can get same amount of the "good stuff" those grapes contain in a liquid form. The wine may have the same as the grape juice, maybe drink the juice before turning it into wine (though might not be as much fun, drinking grape juice doesn't have that "wine connoisseur" image that gets respect at parties of sophisticated people. Are certain grapes more beneficial than others? Right now I'm too lazy to do research so

      • by hawk ( 1151 )

        Growing up, my grandparents had a couple of acres of zinfandel.

        Each year, a winery would pay to pick & keep them, and my grandmother would go pick the late ripeners about two weeks later.

        She juiced them, and canned them in mason jars.

        The stuff was wonderful, heavy, and pulpy. It did, however, etch the jars . . .

        Today, my father tries to see it to me every year or two, but I live a few hundred miles away. (anyone want to buy a couple of acres of northern californian zinfandel? :)

        hawk

        • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
          Reminds me of a friend said her grandfather (old school Italian guy) lived to 97 (or 98), always had a glass of wine everyday. He never drank water because he said, "fish pee in water."
    • What I've seen from most of these studies is that the beneficial affects of moderate drinking is irrespective of the form of alcohol consumed...

      I would seem like a glass of dark red wine would be better for you than a pabst blue ribbon, resveratrol and all that jazz.. But it doesn't appear to be the case.
  • Back about 10 years ago one of my doctors suggested that I drink a glass of wine every evening after dinner. I tried and tried, but I couldn't stand it. I tried red wine, white wine, cheap wine, and expensive wine. None of it was tasty enough to make me want to drink it every day. I'd rather have a glass of cold water.

    Now, I have gout and there's no way I can drink any alcoholic beverage. Alcohol goes to the liver and burns through ATP like it was kindling, and the result is more uric acid in the bloodstrea
    • You should consider donating blood regularly. I haven't had a flare up since I started donating at the maximum frequency. I used to get a few a year, now it has been several years without a single flare up.

      I happen to enjoy alcohol, and this regimen has allowed me to continue to enjoy it without negative effects. Pretty much everything I like to eat is high in purines, so I needed to find another way to manage. Mushrooms, shellfish, fish, meat, beans all high in purines. Now I don't care!
  • ...now if it was only good for your LIVER and kidneys too.

    I wonder if drinking gasoline is good for one organ before it destroys the rest of your body.

    • 1 or 2 beers in a healthy person with a good diet isn't going to tax your liver or kidneys in any destructive way..

      I new a lady who had kidney stone issues who was advised by a doctor to try drinking 1 beer a day.
    • key word you seem to have missed: moderation.

  • Can someone please warn me that alcohol leads to fun, and fun is bad, or something?

    Or how if we never smoke, drank, partied, climbed dangerous rocks, adventured, or sought adrenaline that we would literally live forever?

  • by s122604 ( 1018036 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @02:19PM (#54104079)
    So if 2 is good, 6 or more must be GREAT, amiright?
  • by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @02:22PM (#54104115) Homepage

    Drinking about a glass of wine for women per day, and two glasses for men

    I drink a glass of wine for women per day, and two glasses for men, and several for children. I think that's 8 or 9.

  • Just a study (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @02:23PM (#54104125) Journal
    More often than not foods both protect against and cause cancer [vox.com]. Heart disease is more complicated than that. Health is more complicated than that, and the article even mentions it at the end:

    Because alcohol carries a risk of liver disease, there are safer ways to lower risk, he says, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

  • The good news is that if you drink enough, it won't matter if you have health insurance.

  • We do studies which do measure self-reports of alcohol consumption over long duration periods (e.g. years).

    In general, what most of these studies tend to say is:

    A. Don't binge drink.

    B. No, seriously, stop.

    C. If female, there tend not to be positive effects of drinking more than one drink per day. No, don't add up all the alcohol from the week and drink it at one party.

    D. If male, 2-3 drinks a day may have a positive effect. Some of that is because men tend to be bad at socializing. Some of the positive impa

  • That's good news! After 21 years of sobriety I finally have an excuse to drink again! BTW: What does "moderation" mean?
  • it's not they have worse health because they don't drink. It's they don't drink because they have bad health.
  • Now we just have to figure out how to prevent it from slowly destroying the rest of our bodies and we'll be all set! ;)

  • As with most studied, the really interesting parts are hidden in the data [bmj.com].

    A few things should be kept in mind. For example, there was a huge difference in two characteristics of the subpopulations [bmj.com]. Non-drinkers and former drinkers had much higher incidence of diabetes and being socially deprived compared to moderate drinkers. This is mentioned in the research article but not the Time article. When adjustments for systolic blood pressure, diabetes status, body mass index, HDL-cholesterol, use of statins

  • I have read in Science & vie, a french science magazine, that many studies are sponsored by the booze industry itself. So this idea of 'one glass of wine each day is good for you' is probably false unfortunately. Bias are introduced by putting together in the non-drinker group ex heavy drinker that have quit. That way, non-drinker do not stand out as much.

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