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posted by chromas on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the this-news-is-terrible-and-I'm-gonna-need-a-drink dept.

No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms

A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed previous research which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections. A study author said its findings were the most significant to date because of the range of factors considered.

The Global Burden of Disease [open, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2] [DX] study looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries, including the UK, between 1990 and 2016.

Analysing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day. They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury. But an extra four people would be affected if they drank one alcoholic drink a day. For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.

One of the study authors, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practising GP, said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day."

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer


Original Submission

Related Stories

The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking is Healthy 67 comments

An article by Stanton Peele makes the case that there is strong evidence that reasonable levels of drinking are healthy, and if fact beneficial to your health compared with abstinence.

For all levels of drinking, including the highest one, for both men and women, death rates did not reach those for abstainers.

[...] Of course, abstainers may not drink because they are already ill. Thus the meta-analysis relied on studies that eliminated subjects who are abstaining due to illness, or else contrast drinkers with lifetime abstainers.

There isn't a list of references in the article, but this study may be one of the supporting ones: Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies.

There are, no doubt, reasonable criticisms that can be made, but there does seem to be a case for saying that drinking some alcohol is beneficial.

Article also published in: Pacific Standard Magazine

Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer 30 comments

Source The Guardian

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has pinpointed the level of drinking implicated in liver cancer after undertaking what it says was the biggest review so far of the evidence on the relationship between diet, weight, physical activity and the disease.

Its assessment of 34 previous studies covering 8.2 million people, more than 24,500 of whom had liver cancer, revealed “strong evidence” linking intake of three drinks a day to the disease.

“Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer,” said Amanda Mclean, director of the charity’s UK branch. “Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough, for the first time, to be more specific about this.”

The WCRF’s findings prompted the Alcohol Health Alliance, a coalition of health organisations, to claim that alcohol is so toxic that cans and bottles should carry health warnings.

“Alcohol, like tobacco and asbestos, is a class 1 carcinogen and it is totally unacceptable that the public is not provided with such basic information”, said Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, the alliance’s chair.

On the flip side...

The WCRF’s analysis also found strong evidence that coffee could help protect against liver cancer, though it did not specify the amounts someone needs to drink.

Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health 28 comments

Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with increased risk of adverse brain outcomes and steeper decline in cognitive (mental) skills, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

These results support the recent reduction in alcohol guidance in the UK and raise questions about the current limits recommended in the US, say the authors.

[...] Several factors that could have influenced the results (known as confounding) were taken into account, such as age, sex, education, social class, physical and social activity, smoking, stroke risk and medical history.

After adjusting for these confounders, the researchers found that higher alcohol consumption over the 30 year study period was associated with increased risk of hippocampal atrophy -- a form of brain damage that affects memory and spatial navigation.

-- submitted from IRC

Anya Topiwala, Charlotte L Allan, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ, 2017; j2353 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j2353


Original Submission

American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer 39 comments

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released a statement (open, DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1155) (DX) discussing the links between alcohol consumption and cancer:

The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer. Heavy drinkers face a much longer list of risks, including mouth cancer, throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. That's a whole lot of cancers.

"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less," said Dr. Noelle LoConte, lead author of the statement. "And if you don't drink, don't start." She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking. But the message rings the same.

The doctors behind the statement aimed to draw attention to what they view as a public health problem and advocate for a push towards better education and research.

Also at Medscape and ASCO (shorter press release).

Previously: Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer

Related: Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
Researchers Make Alcohol Out of Thin Air
No Magic Pill to Cure Alcohol Dependence Yet
Early Age of Drinking Leads to Neurocognitive and Neuropsychological Damage


Original Submission

World Health Organization: Alcohol Killed 3 Million People in 2016 32 comments

Excessive drinking killed over 3 million people in 2016

Drinking too much alcohol killed more than 3 million people in 2016, mostly men, the World Health Organization said.

The U.N. health agency also warned that current policy responses are not sufficient to reverse trends predicting an increase in consumption over the next 10 years.

In a new report Friday, the agency said that about 237 million men and 46 million women faced alcohol problems, with the highest prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Europe has the highest global per capita alcohol consumption, even though it has already dropped by 10 percent since 2010.

Around a third of alcohol-related deaths were a result of injuries, including car crashes and self-harm, while about one in five were due to either digestive disorders or cardiovascular diseases. Cancers, infectious diseases, mental disorders and other health conditions were also to blame.

From the Chapter 4 summary:

In 2016, the harmful use of alcohol resulted in some 3 million deaths (5.3% of all deaths) worldwide and 132.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) – i.e. 5.1% of all DALYs in that year. Mortality resulting from alcohol consumption is higher than that caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Among men in 2016, an estimated 2.3 million deaths and 106.5 million DALYs were attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Women experienced 0.7 million deaths and 26.1 million DALYs attributable to alcohol consumption.

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer
Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Aiwendil on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:12PM (12 children)

    by Aiwendil (531) on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:12PM (#726252) Journal

    Really.. that means that anything you leave lingering in your mouth before swallowing (go time time to do stuff like chewing) is dangerous, and it also means that you only can take one sip from each body of fruit-juice.

    Seriously, I kinda doubt a couple of molecules of etanol would be dangerous to drink, especially since we have stuff to produce that in our saliva (not to mention that the body itself creates quite a bit of alcohol).

    Also, does this means that bread made with yeast is off limit as well? (that produces impressive amounts of alcohol)

    (Yes, I am well aware that they mean "no safe limit for the amounts that people that slept through introduction to biology and cooking consider imbibing", but the phrasing really sets me off)

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:24PM (4 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:24PM (#726253)

      It's a counterpoint study, I believe intended to offset the overly rosy picture painted by the "2 glasses of wine with dinner is good for you" science that has been pushed for the last 30 years. Their point (lame, in my opinion) is that even 1 glass of wine with dinner represents a tiny increase in risk, of cancer, of accidental death, etc. and when you multiply this number by the current world population you reach some horrific number of deaths per year caused by even 1 glass of wine with dinner.

      Newsflash: the current world population is horrific no matter how you analyze it. 100,000 deaths more or less is insignificant and irrelevant when considering the psychological benefits of stress reduction and enjoyment of the moment. I think I'm going to go have a drink now and forget about all the impending doom of the world, and for the near term that will be an improvement in quality of life - if that also means that, statistically, I've just taken 10 minutes off of my total predicted lifespan, so be it - IMO improvement in the quality of life for 2 waking hours here and now is a good trade for 10 minutes of "maybe" statistically weighted far into the future.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
      • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:06PM (2 children)

        by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:06PM (#726281) Journal

        Hmmm, there IS a way to get by without drinking alcohol at all. Just requires adjusting your microbiome slightly :-)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-brewery_syndrome [wikipedia.org]

        --
        В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:13PM (1 child)

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:13PM (#726283) Homepage

          Well, they say that the only cure for a hangover is to be drunk all the time, I guess that is actually possible. And, haw, the cure is the Atkins diet.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:33PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:33PM (#726321)

            We all know there is no cure for stupid.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @02:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @02:32PM (#726555)

        For some reason, I do not seriously interpret the statement to mean that alcohols occuring naturally is the problem. It seems more like there's a problem with rationaling over indulgence of a toxic substance while clinging to health benefits that are small compared to the damage the actual alcohol does.

        but people get upset when there is no alcohol lobby to fund campaigns and stuff, so there will be outrage that theres proof (pun intended) of long term harm from such a commercialized industry.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by requerdanos on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:45PM

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:45PM (#726255) Journal

      No safe limit!?... that means that anything you leave lingering in your mouth before swallowing (go time time to do stuff like chewing) is dangerous, and it also means that you only can take one sip from each body of fruit-juice.

      It's even worse in California... In California (only), because they are willfully ignorant [pasadenastarnews.com] of Paracelsus' toxicology principle [camiryan.com], all of these things are dangerous poisons that also cause cancer

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:50PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:50PM (#726256)

      Safe: fsck... do you see what you did there?

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 26 2018, @10:43AM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @10:43AM (#726500) Journal

        OP checked the file system. Probably to ensure that the data is safe. ;-)

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Hartree on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:00PM (1 child)

      by Hartree (195) on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:00PM (#726279)

      It's not science. It's advocacy.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:14PM

        by VLM (445) on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:14PM (#726537)

        Say that about alcohol and you (rightly) get +5 insightful, point out the same kind of people doing the same kind of thing for the same motivations but in the climate study field and watch the internet hate machine spin to life...

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by number11 on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:12PM

      by number11 (1170) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:12PM (#726312)

      I kinda doubt a couple of molecules of etanol would be dangerous to drink

      A wee bit more than "a couple of molecules". It's a UK study, the UK counts a "drink" as containing 8g alcohol. Lessee... atomic weight divided by g = moles times Avogadro's Constant = number of molecules. About 10^23. Probably a bit more, as there will be some subjects who count "water glass full of vodka" as one drink.

      does this means that bread made with yeast is off limit as well? (that produces impressive amounts of alcohol)

      You might want to stop eating the raw dough. Most of the alcohol is lost in cooking. Um... one source says "rosemary onion bread" contains 0.98g/100g, so eating a kg per day might lead to ill effects :) Most breads seem to have less than half that much (0.2-0.4g) though. Amazing the stuff you can look up on the 'net.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:12PM

      by VLM (445) on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:12PM (#726536)

      For an identical problem in a different biological topic, the term to google for or wikipedia for is "Radiation Hormesis"

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis [wikipedia.org]

      Generally speaking the most popular (not necessarily correct) philosophic outlook today for alcohol is the hormesis effect exists for alcohol (or at least highly functional alcoholics will bitch if you imply otherwise) and hormesis effect does not exist for ionizing radiation. Also the general public is near certain that non-ionizing radiation has no hormesis effect and definitely causes cancer and ED and bogeymen, but the scientists laugh because there's no perceptible reaction mechanism to explain it beyond "I iz scared of witchcraft"

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:29PM (11 children)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:29PM (#726254) Journal

    From the end of TFA:

    Yet Prof David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, sounded a note of caution about the findings.

    "Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no 'safe' level does not seem an argument for abstention," he said.

    "There is no safe level of driving, but the government does not recommend that people avoid driving.

    "Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention."

    Exactly. I personally have always been skeptical of findings that alcohol is actually "protective" from a health perspective, but I've also been skeptical of extremist studies that claim any alcohol is evil and will kill you tomorrow.

    Instead, it's likely a lot of this has to do with confounding factors. Those who have a glass of wine with dinner every day are likely a little more well-off and tend to live a bit more relaxed and less stressful lifestyle (compared to those who can't drink with dinner because they need to work or whatever afterward or those who can't afford it). Yes, studies try to control for such things sometimes, but it's hard to eliminate such lifestyle effects completely.

    Anyhow, it might be doubtful that the alcohol has a significant protective health benefits -- and figuring out another way to live with less stress could have a similar health benefit.

    That's just one of many things that could be going in the thousands of studies that have been done on alchohol consumption. People who are happy do tend to live longer, and people who have less stress definitely live longer. Did this study account for this in the "one drink a day" sample? Did they ask how many of that group found a drink "relaxing" or gave pleasure to their life?

    Everyone has different priorities. I should be clear that I personally don't drink very often at all, so I'm not defending alchohol. But for someone who enjoys it, it might actually have an indirect positive impact on health... Which might be hard to quantify.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:53PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:53PM (#726259)

      Government is allowed to be the one organisation in society that can imposed its will at gunpoint.

      When you put such an organisation in control of your health care, then that organisation is guaranteed assert itself over your lifestyle.

      One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number

      Statistics. How do they work?

      Despite the mathematical stupidity of that comment, it just proves the point: When government is involved in health care, then the individual's lifestyle must be sacrificed for the good of the collective.

      Given a choice, I'll take a Free Society over a "healthy" society.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:10PM (#726310)

        when you get a license to get married the products of that marriage (children) are the property of the state. the parent(or guardian) is entrusted/used by the state to provide housing for their slave. the state provides the education/indoctrination so that the child grows to be a productive and well behaved slave wherever it is most profitable (prison). IOW, any responsibility you abdicate to the government is a freedom you lose.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Weasley on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:41PM (2 children)

        by Weasley (6421) on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:41PM (#726344)

        So your definition of freedom is being able to drink alcohol? That's kind of sad.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:17AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:17AM (#726437) Journal
          So your definition of freedom is being kind of sad? Ditto.

          Or maybe you have a vastly more expansive definition of freedom and my mischaracterizing it as something minuscule is a disservice?
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 26 2018, @05:34AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @05:34AM (#726452) Homepage Journal

          Freedom is choice. You may choose to drink alcohol, or not. You may choose to consume tobacco products, or not. You may choose to drive a car, or not. You may choose to - anything. Suicide? That's an option, in a free society. Suicide quickly with a firearm, or suicide slowly with tobacco and alcohol - or with fast cars, or bungee jumping, skydiving, scuba diving - CHOICE.

          Personally, I think you've got to be crazy to jump out of a perfectly fine aircraft two miles up in the sky. But, because I believe in freedom, I'm not trying to make it illegal to jump out of airplanes. Now, just leave my smokes and my drinks alone, please. I'll respect your right to do your own preferred crazy shit.

          --
          Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:55PM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:55PM (#726260)

      I think the studies that find alcohol protective may be missing a causality link, but the simple fact of association is still powerful enough to merit consideration.

      So what if alcohol decreases your lifespan overall, but people who drink a little live longer? Do we want to set up a control group of people who never drink and then try to argue that we should all abstain so we can get those extra 6 months in the nursing home? Maybe drinking a little puts you in the nursing home a little earlier, is that a bad or good thing?

      I do know, without alcohol and similar recreational use substances, there would be less casual sex and unintended pregnancies - again, is this a reason to attack alcohol?

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:08PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:08PM (#726308)

        Sex is only casual for the first few minutes. Foreplay, and then the first few strokes. Then, it's serious! But, the girls don't like to get too serious, too fast, so you've got to be casual.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by MostCynical on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:54PM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:54PM (#726364) Journal

          I think you're doing it wrong.

          --
          "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 26 2018, @11:27AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @11:27AM (#726512) Journal

        So what if alcohol decreases your lifespan overall, but people who drink a little live longer?

        Well, they're talking about drinking in the first place (not more exotic methods of alcohol consumption). So it's an ill-posed question. Why should we care about the nonexistent list of things that can decrease and increase your lifespan simultaneously.

    • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:58PM

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:58PM (#726261) Journal

      figuring out another way to live with less stress [(for example, occasional or moderate alcohol consumption)] could have a similar health benefit.

      And a way to counteract that stress-reducing benefit might be putting out scare studies saying there's "no safe" amount of alcohol and that one who consumes it should expect to be instantly vaporized, or sickened to death, or some such--that way, drinking the alcohol would have less stress-reducing benefit in proportion to the degree that the study is believed to be a true representation of reality.

      It's better to look for patterns, such as the following, described by pseudocode below:

      while 1=1 {
         for x in [coffee alcohol marijuana rock-music etc.] {
           wait (rand(1,5)) years;
           boldly declare "Studies now show that $x in moderation is actually...";
           y = rand(1,2);
           if $y=1 then boldly declare "GOOD for you! \n";
           if $y=2 then boldly declare "BAD for you! \n";
         }
      }

      The meta-analyses of such studies will always be inconclusive at the rate they have been going. I don't think a single "alcohol is bad, mmmkay?" study is going to change that, but of course, I am no researcher myself.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:43PM (#726295)

      You definitely should be skeptical. It would be highly suspicious if they found any other result than people who drink in moderation are healthier. People who drink a ton or not at all are disproportionately likely to have health problems driving the decision. There are individuals with religious beliefs that drive it, but they're a relatively small portion of the US population that's typically studied and likely excluded from research.

      Alcohol is poisonous the reason we drink it is primarily because in the past it was because drinking water wasn't safe to drink without the alcohol killing bacteria. From there it became a social custom to drink in many situations and a social lubricant.

      But, the evidence suggesting that it's something that people should be drinking is suspect. We know that drinking small amounts doesn't cause much harm, but that's not the same thing as suggesting that it's a health improvement. Plus, there's no reason to believe that removing the alcohol from those drinks wouldn't lead to similar health benefits.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:52PM (9 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Saturday August 25 2018, @04:52PM (#726258) Journal
    That's right. There's no safe limit for alcohol. Or driving. Or crossing the street. Or talking to your friends/neighbors/co-workers.

    It's not safe to leave the house. It's also not safe to stay home.

    Life is unsafe, it leads certainly to death.
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:24PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:24PM (#726264)

      Brought to you by the same people who didnt believe babys felt pain until the 1990s and so did brain surgery on my friend without anesthesia.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:48PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:48PM (#726297)

        That's a pretty ignorant way of putting it. It's standard practice to just use a topical anesthetic when performing brain surgery as the surgeon has to have the patient awake and functioning during the procedure to reduce the risk of complications. And the brain itself doesn't feel pain anyways as there are no nerves inside the brain to sense pain.

        In the case of babies, it is very tough to determine the amount that's necessary without being too much as there's no way of conducting the research into the matter.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:18PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:18PM (#726314)

          In the case of babies, it is very tough to determine the amount that's necessary without being too much as there's no way of conducting the research into the matter.

          Yep, that doesnt mean you can conclude babies don't feel pain though. Thats what they did... until some mom found out on accident and made a fuss about it. Then all of a sudden papers got published showing babies did feel pain.

          • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:29PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:29PM (#726317)

            To the Editor:
            Dr. John Scanlon spoke at a recent meeting
            sponsored by BIRTH protesting the barbarism of
            surgery without anesthesia for newborn babies and
            has written on the subject ( I ) .

            Ten years ago our prematurely born son,
            Edward, was shunted for hydrocephalus while paralyzed
            with curare. Although he could not move,
            cry, or react in any way, he could see, hear, and feel
            as large incisions were cut in his scalp, neck, and
            abdomen; as a hole was drilled in his skull; as a tube
            was inserted into the center of his brain, then
            pushed down under the skin of his neck, chest, and
            abdomen and implanted deep in his abdominal cavity.
            It is a source of great anguish to me that my
            husband and I signed a form allowing such an operation
            to take place, but we were told Edward might
            die or become brain damaged without the operation
            and that anesthesia might kill him. “Besides,” the
            doctors assured us, “these babies don’t really feel
            pain.” I suspected then, and now know, that this is
            just not true.

            To this day, our severely retarded son will allow
            no one to touch his head, neck, or abdomen. Even
            heavily tranquilized, he reacts to the simplest medical
            procedures or the mere sight of the hospital with
            violent trembling, profuse sweating, screaming,
            struggling, and vomiting. I can’t help feeling that on
            some level he still remembers the hideous pain inflicted
            on him during his unanesthetized surgery and
            throughout the course of his neonatal intensive
            care.

            Shortly after Edward came home from the hospital,
            I began work on a book for parents of premature
            babies. Several doctors and nurses I interviewed
            admitted that surgery without painkillers was sometimes
            necessary for those babies “too weak to survive
            anesthesia.” However, the majority of parents
            I interviewed seemed unaware of this practice. AIthough
            I now regret it, I decided against mentioning
            surgery without anesthesia in my book. At the time,
            I was unable to document its occurrence or determine
            its extent, and I was concerned about upsetting
            parents, perhaps needlessly. In any event, what
            could parents do with this information? One mother
            I spoke with who realized anesthesia would not be
            used for her daughter’s surgery refused to sign the
            consent form. The operation was performed anyway
            and the mother was reported to local authorities
            as an abusive parent.
            Since the publication of my book in 1983, I have
            learned that premature infants are commonly subjected
            to major surgery and other excruciating procedures
            without any pain relief whatsoever, and
            that the reasons used to justify these practices are
            of dubious validity.

            Other parents are also finding out what was done
            to their children and they are outraged. At the 1985
            national conference of Parents of Premature and
            High-Risk Infants, I joined a group of mothers and
            fathers who were discussing their children’s painful
            NICU care: major surgery, chest tube insertions,
            cutdowns (all performed without painkillers); gangrene
            and amputations from infiltrated IVs; bones
            broken during chest physiotherapy; skin pulled off
            with adhesive tape; burns from the monitors; 24-
            hour-a-day bombardment with bright light and loud
            noise; and numerous iatrogenic afflictions from improperly
            evaluated therapies. “If this were going on
            in any other setting,” one mother exclaimed, “it
            would be called torture!” Another parent noted the
            similarity between the aversive behavior of some
            NICU babies and the psychologic problems of adult
            torture victims. Another added that if these procedures
            were carried out on kittens and puppies instead
            of human babies, antivivisectionists would
            close down the nurseries. None of us believed that
            we had been adequately informed about the immediate
            or long-term suffering our children would endure.
            Most of us doubted that we would consent to
            such medical ordeals to save our own lives.
            In the past two decades, a great deal has been
            written about parents as abusers of their premature
            babies. The time has now come for a long, hard look
            at the medical abuse of newborns, especially of
            those babies unfortunate enough to be born prematurely.

            Lawson, J. R. (1986). LETTERS. Birth, 13(2), 124–125. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536x.1986.tb01024.x

            To the Editor:
            Imagine that your baby needs major surgery.
            You admit him to a major teaching facility with a
            solid reputation. Feeling foolish for even asking,
            you question several doctors about anesthesia. The
            surgical resident who brings you consent forms
            promises your baby will be put to sleep, and you
            sign. Imagine finding out later that your son was cut
            open with no anesthesia at all.

            This is not a cut-and-slice horror movie. This is
            my life; the hospital is Children’s Hospital National
            Medical Center; and, as I have since discovered, it
            is a common practice at Children’s and elsewhere.
            My son, Jeffrey, was a very tiny, very sick premature
            baby, born Feb. 9, 1985, at a gestational age
            of 25-26 weeks. During the almost two months of
            his life, he was on a respirator, with several lung
            diseases, a heart problem, kidney problems, and a
            brain bleed. He sometimes became unstable and difficult
            to manage clinically. In the United States each
            year, thousands of preemies with identical medical
            profiles are born and kept alive, and many of them
            have the same surgery.

            Jeffrey had holes cut on both sides of his neck,
            another hole cut in his right chest, an incision from
            his breastbone around to his backbone, his ribs
            pried apart, and an extra artery near his heart tied
            off. This was topped off with another hole cut in his
            left side for a chest tube. The operation lasted 12
            hours. Jeffrey was awake through it all. The anesthesiologist
            paralyzed him with Pavulon, a curare
            drug that left him unable to move, but total1-v c o n
            scious.

            When I questioned the anesthesiologist later
            about her use of Pavulon, she said Jeffrey was too
            sick to tolerate powerful anesthetics. Anyway, she
            said, it had never been demonstrated to her that
            premature babies feel pain. She seemed sincerely
            puzzled as to why I was concerned. It turns out that
            such care, or lack thereof, is possible because, as a
            neonatologist explained, babies, unlike adults,
            don’t go into shock no matter how much agony they
            suffer. Anesthesiologists take advantage of this,
            coupled with the patient’s inability to complain.
            Many surgeons who perform this operation on
            preemies (including Jeffrey’s surgeon) are not
            aware that he or she is operating without anesthesia.
            Yet I have found references to it in three articles
            in medical journals. John Scanlon, a neonatologist,
            wrote a newspaper article about a similar case
            and received feedback from other doctors uneasy
            about the same lack of pain control at their hospitals.
            The head of a national group of bereaved parents
            was upset by Jeffrey’s story and questioned the
            nurses at the intensive care nursery in her own hospital.
            The nurses confirmed that many doctors believe
            that preemies don’t feel pain and act accordingly.
            A nurse in a local intensive care nursery told me
            that she sometimes has to nag surgeons to use anesthesia
            and gets ridiculed for her efforts. The nurse
            assured me, as did two of the three medical journal
            articles, that sodium pentathol can be used to anesthetize
            all preemies no matter how small and ill.
            I have tried to convince medical authorities to
            take steps to prevent such abuse of other babies.
            But the Washington, D.C., Medical Society reviewed
            the case and concluded that, though there is
            significant controversy among physicians and in
            medical literature about pain and premature infants,
            they support the anesthesiologist. The Washington,
            D.C., Commission on Licensure to Practice the
            Healing Arts is also studying the case. But the anesthesiologist
            evidently followed the standards of
            practice, so she will inevitably be exonerated.
            An attorney with whom I consulted thought
            there was little money in the case and was reluctant
            to take me as a client. He thought we could win, but
            his experience was that juries don’t perceive premature
            babies as quite human. Staff at the federal
            hotline set up after the Baby Jane Doe case, whose
            avowed purpose includes investigating inhumane
            medical practices, were not interested once they
            learned the infant was dead. Likewise for the Washington,
            D.C., Child Protective Services Agency.
            The head of the American Association of Anesthesiologists,
            while calling my letter “certainly the
            most unusual I have received,” said he is powerless
            to respond. The American Board of Anesthesiology
            said that such cases are none of its business.
            I’m convinced that Jeffrey was paralyzed for the
            convenience of the surgeon. Once paralyzed, he
            couldn’t distress the operating team by demonstrating
            his pain, so they didn’t give it any further
            thought.

            For our pets there are protective organizations
            and dedicated proponents to guard against surgery
            without anesthesia. There appear to be none for
            premature babies. There should be, because they
            scream as loud as we do.

            Harrison, H. (1986). LETTERS. Birth, 13(2), 124–124. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536x.1986.tb01023.x

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:54PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:54PM (#726400)

              This is references for the prior posts, so either they should all or none be offtopic.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @06:22AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @06:22AM (#726457)

                Use <spoiler>text</spoiler> next time.

                text
                text
                text
                text

                text

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 26 2018, @11:36AM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @11:36AM (#726514) Journal
              The weird thing about your story is that there's no reason for concern there. You describe surgeons doing a good job. For example:

              When I questioned the anesthesiologist later about her use of Pavulon, she said Jeffrey was too sick to tolerate powerful anesthetics.

              Ok.

              But the Washington, D.C., Medical Society reviewed the case and concluded that, though there is significant controversy among physicians and in medical literature about pain and premature infants, they support the anesthesiologist.

              Ok.

              I’m convinced that Jeffrey was paralyzed for the convenience of the surgeon.

              Which let us note was the guy keeping Jeffrey alive. That surgeon needs those conveniences in order to do the job.

              In summary, too bad you and Jeffrey had a lot of bad luck. Blaming surgeons for it though is a waste of your time and money.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:33PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:33PM (#726574)

                You just ignored the entire point of those letters, which is the doctors came to the conclusion that babies dont feel pain because it was hard to observe it and that was the most convenient interpretation for them.

                Also, they are letters to the journal "Birth" from 1986, reflecting the medical establishment's position at the time. You can see they were so confident babies dont feel pain that one mom got reported for being abusive for not allowing a surgery without anesthesia. There is a long history of very confident and horribly wrong pronouncements from the healthcare industry.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 28 2018, @10:28PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 28 2018, @10:28PM (#727526) Journal

                  You just ignored the entire point of those letters, which is the doctors came to the conclusion that babies dont feel pain because it was hard to observe it and that was the most convenient interpretation for them.

                  If that were the point to the letter, then it's not much of a point. We already know medicine is very, very imperfect. I think however the real point was that the author of the letter felt the need to publicly blame others for misfortunes that were beyond anyone. Whether or not Jeffrey felt pain was irrelevant to the primary outcomes - that Jeffrey was alive and that he was retarded. Many of our medical procedures cause permanent damage when successfully performed. Perhaps instead it would be better to let Jeffrey die than to perform an imperfect medical procedure by imperfect people? I leave that up to you to decide.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:28PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:28PM (#726265)

    There is no "safe" level of alcohol consumption? I don't drink, and yet zero is a level ...

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 26 2018, @10:47AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @10:47AM (#726502) Journal

      Yes, you can die of cancer even if you don't drink at all.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Shire on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:31PM (2 children)

    by The Shire (5824) on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:31PM (#726266)

    "No level of consumption is safe" they say, yet their baseline is people who are drinking alcohol every single day. And compared to non drinkers your chances of harm goes from .914% to, you guessed it, .918%. A whopping .004% increase. That seems statistically irrelevant and tells me that a drink a day IS safe.

    Just being alive carries a risk of death every single day, and frankly I'd rather meet my death after a stiff drink.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:13PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:13PM (#726313) Homepage Journal

      I'd rather meet my death after a stiff drink.

      There's a yo' MAMA joke hidden in there . . . or is it yo' SISTER?

      --
      Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:13PM (#726356)

      People have made the same argument for smoking. Should non-drinkers subsidize people who drink?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:50PM (#726274)

    SN readers have known this for years. Sure the sample size is 1 but scientists only dream of such p values.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by requerdanos on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:50PM

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @05:50PM (#726275) Journal

    One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day.

    That "far bigger number" according to their results is a ratio--one person in 25,000 affected--that does not change with population size; a ratio is a ratio, a percentage (0.004%), if you like. 0.004% of their 100,000 people is 0.004%; 0.004 percent of the entire UK population is 0.004%; 0.004% of all atoms in the universe is... 0.004%. The implication that it bercomes a "far bigger number" is frankly nonsense.

    You could say that 0.004% is "far bigger" than zero, but if you consider the error bars, 0.004% ≅ 0%.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:00PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:00PM (#726280)

    i think there's no way to make "alcohol" taste good.
    it's only "good" after you're drunk.

    i personally would like to taste some aged (black) tea from wood barrels.
    no amount of wood or smoke or what-not-taste is EVER going to make alcohol taste "good", sry.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:22PM (12 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:22PM (#726288) Homepage

      As a drunk, I agree 100%. There is nothing more offensive to me than alcohol snobbery, like going to a craft beer house and seeing some inane bullshit like, "This unfiltered IPA contains notes of chocolate, with nutty accents, and with a clean finish. It pairs well with red meat or swordfish."

      Of course it tastes like shit. So does coffee. But the nastier the taste, the better the buzz, and so it is the anticipation of the buzz and chuggability, rather than the taste in itself, that causes me to gravitate toward more expensive and bitter beers. My venerable workhorse Gallo Sauvignon Blanc is almost the cheapest wine you can buy, but it the most chuggable swill you can buy with the extra potency of wine and none of the rotgut of Vodka.

      I've always thought "wine pairings" with food were bullshit. If you're eating good food, don't ruin it with the wine nastiness -- especially because at more fancy and expensive places, cost you pay for the wine equals the cost you pay for the food itself. On the rare occasion I do drink with dinner, it's for the effect 100% and I'm going to be so pickled that the food is gonna taste good no matter what.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:21PM (3 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:21PM (#726315) Homepage Journal

        You have every right to speak for yourself, and from your own experience - as we all do. But, you don't have to be some kind of alcohol snob to appreciate the flavors of alcoholic beverages. I don't use the retarded nomenclature the snobs use (chocolate? in beer? WTF?) but I can describe the pleasant differences in various beverages. Rum? Sweet - sweet and mellow. The alcohol will sneak up and bite you in the ass, because you don't even taste the alcohol. Vodka generally has a bland but fiery bite. My preferred Scotch has a mellow smell and flavor like a meadow full of flowers. Pilsener beer is bland, often tasteless, and goes down like water. Ales have a definite flavor, and body - you can roll it around on your tongue and savor that flavor. Ditto with most lagers - though I've had a couple that would have passed for a pilsener pisswater.

        Not a snob, at all, neither am I an alkie. I can walk into a bar, intent on having a drink, have that drink, and leave. I drank it for the flavor, as much as any other reason. There is no need, or desire, to have twelve more drinks to keep that first one company.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:24PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:24PM (#726338) Homepage

          Okay, maybe you were right about one particular case -- rum cake.

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:03PM (1 child)

          by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:03PM (#726369) Journal

          "I don't like x, so how could anyone?" - well, apparently, easily.
          "I can't taste flavour z, so no one can" - just wrong.
          "Beer tastes lie, shit, but I drink it anyway" - there are lots of different tasting alcoholic beverages.
          "All booze tastes like shit, but I drink it anyway" - maybe stop drinking alcoholic beverages.

          Also, chocolate in beer:
          https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-chocolate-beer-353056 [thespruceeats.com]

          --
          "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:32PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:32PM (#726394)

            Try Crème de cacao or Tia Maria with good chocolate ice cream. Yum.

            We recently inherited a small liquor cabinet, and not being drinkers we are trying various combinations...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:21PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:21PM (#726316)

        I always thought of you as a Ripple man.

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:32PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:32PM (#726320) Homepage

          Here's an amusing electronics joke - Russians drink ripple. Chebyshev is a Russian. The electronic filter [wikipedia.org] with his namesake is characterized by ripple in the pass(or stop) band.

          The more you know.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:38PM (#726323)

        But the nastier the taste, the better the buzz

        I bet you are the guy that eats poop.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:38PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:38PM (#726343)

        My preferred cheap wines are Asti Tosti (10.99/bottle, tastes like 7 up), or anything by St. Julians (~$7/bottle, good enough to drink). Gallo, Carlo Rossi, whatever that other jug wine that black bitches drink is (paul masson?), are all drinkable, but just below my threshhold of worth spending money on.

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:54PM (2 children)

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:54PM (#726348) Homepage

          Around these parts a 1.5 liter bottle of Gallo is 6.99 not including tax or CRV. Furthermore, around these parts we don't have Asti Tosti or St. Julians. Care to provide a rough geographic location so we can get a frame of reference?

          EDIT: Asti Tosti is a sparkling wine, and those are tasty, but not the wines of true alcoholics: Too much sweetness and headache. As for St. Julian, based on that info I'd say you are in the geographic middle of the U.S.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:42PM (#726363)

            You're correct about location. The great thing about tosti is it doesnt give me hangovers unless I'm also drinking liquor. My go-to for getting wasted is absinthe though - the liquor stores around here have little vials of it that are 69% alcohol and about the equivalent of a fifth of 80 proof for 8.99. Very easy to pocket discretely and pretty smooth straight or mixed.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @02:10AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @02:10AM (#726420)

            In the wise words of a wine aficionado (a wino), "that shit tastes like shit".

      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by takyon on Sunday August 26 2018, @12:06AM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday August 26 2018, @12:06AM (#726401) Journal

        IPAs, ales, stouts, etc. typically taste good to me, label snobbery or not, and there is a much greater variety of craft beers than wines. I couldn't care about the bitterness... I can drink coffee black just fine and enjoy it, maybe because of drinking IPAs, IDK. Wines pretty much taste the same to me. Is innovation happening on the wine side? Pink moscato, rosé, and mud-looking chocolate wine come to mind.

        Wine should be in the ballpark of $3/750ml before tax, $5-8 if you can't be arsed to find a deal. Compare a random $10-20/750ml (expensive) beer to the equivalent priced wine, and the beer should win out 95% of the time (the losses represent true snobbery, like recipes using a combo of ancient grains, habaneros, and rocky mountain oysters).

        My trucker friend once worked at a company that relabeled wine to mark it up. That's what people are paying for, a label. The $5 wine becomes a $25 wine, and nobody notices the difference. Try disguising a Budweiser as $craft_beer. Unlikely to work.

        Your Gallo seems like a fair choice, although a cold and refreshing Steel Reserve should beat it on alcohol units per dollar, and cans are more convenient.

        On that note, have you seen the canned wine? That could be a great way to make it cheaper and more convenient, better than boxed wine even, but I've only seen Underwood [totalwine.com] in stores which sells for $6/375ml.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:07PM (15 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:07PM (#726282) Homepage Journal

    There is no safe level - for an alcoholic. The problem with alcoholism is, you don't know you're an alcoholic until it's too late. On that one, single count, I can agree with them. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption for an alcoholic.

    The rest of us? I firmly believe that a single drink of beer or wine daily is the best level of consumption. It don't get you drunk, doesn't even cause a buzz, but you get the various nutrients from the beverage you choose.

    But, TBH, I like a beer or three when I do drink. I like my Scotch whiskey even better. I don't know that the Scotch actually has any specific benefits, aside from the alcohol itself.

    --
    Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:17PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:17PM (#726285)

      Drinking alcohol foe nutrition is beyond stupid. There may be a little psychological "buzz" effect but still why poison yourself if you dont actually get the real effext?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:24PM (5 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:24PM (#726289) Homepage Journal

        The "nutrients" contained in wines and beers are pretty much available nowhere else. Both have benefits that have been acknowledged by countless health and nutrition authorities. And, the alcohol itself is a nutrient, whether you care to admit it or not.

        The person who drinks a single drink per day is generally healthier than those who don't drink, or those who drink like fish. The old adage, "Everything in moderation" applies.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:50PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:50PM (#726300)

          Citation needed, alcohol has no nutritional value. Those other nutrients can be filtered out and taken sans alcohol and that would be done if there were actual truth to the old wives tale that alcohol has health benefits.

          Most of what you're seeing is a side effect of people that drink in moderation being less likely to have illnesses like diabetes and other ones that prevent drinking.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:37PM (3 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:37PM (#726322) Homepage Journal

            Your body metabolizes alcohol, extracting energy from it. That makes it a nutrient, just as refined white sugar is a nutrient. White sugar is far easier to extract energy from than a hunk of red meat. Alcohol is, in turn, far easier to extract energy from than a blob of refined white sugar.

            Myth: Alcohol makes you fatter. Excess calories make you fatter, period. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram and can be used as an energy source by the body just like carbs, protein, and fat can, (4, 4, and 9 calories per gram respectively). The only catch is that the body must burn the alcohol calories first, before it can move on to the other food you’ve eaten. However, don’t forget to consider your mixer, or how dark your beer is, as this will add carbs/sugars and additional calories to your alcoholic beverage. When you order that Margarita or Bloody Mary, you’re drinking a lot more than just alcohol.

            http://maxwettsteinfitness.com/Library/Alcohol.htm [maxwettsteinfitness.com]

            You may reasonably argue that alcohol is one of the poorest nutrtients known to man, but it really is a nutrient.

            As for filtering out those other nutrients - I suppose it's possible. But, why?

            --
            Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:08PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:08PM (#726334)

              You may reasonably argue that alcohol is one of the poorest nutrtients known to man, but it really is a nutrient.

              I once had to take some kind of intelligence test given to me by the state with a question like:

              Which is not a nutrient?
              A) Sugar
              B) Protein
              C) Fat
              D) Alcohol
              E) All of the above

              There was another time that a question required me to believe mushrooms were a type of plant.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:32PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:32PM (#726341)

              You'd filter them out because alcohol is toxic.

              I guess technically it is a nutrient, but it's definitely toxic and definitely messes with a person's body chemistry and interacts with many medications. Which would be the point. You could also use the unused alcohol as fuel.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27 2018, @10:37PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27 2018, @10:37PM (#727160)

                I guess technically it is a nutrient, but it's definitely toxic and definitely messes with a person's body chemistry and interacts with many medications. Which would be the point. You could also use the unused alcohol as fuel.

                All of these points apply to essentially any chemical that can be metabolized by your body.

                I guess technically glucose is a nutrient, but it's definitely toxic [LD50 of about 30g/kg] and definitely messes with a person's body chemistry and interacts with many medications. Which would be the point. You could also use the unused glucose as fuel.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:33PM (7 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:33PM (#726292) Homepage

      " you don't know you're an alcoholic until it's too late. "

      Complete nonsense and 12-step propaganda. Externalizing a harmful addiction is the tactic of the scoundrel; whether that harmful addiction is alcohol, crack cocaine, video gaming.

      All it takes is one instance of binge-drinking to know if you have the self-control to cut yourself off, and when, and in complete sobriety you are well-aware of how much you are Jonesing for that first drink of the day or week. I am an honest alcoholic -- I plan entire days around drinking rather than be like, "Oh, I'll drive over, have a beer or two, then drive back." Because I know for damn sure that once I raise that first drink to my lips, I'm in it for the rest of the night.

      Fortunately, I don't crave alcohol until after I have that first sip. Which means that I can spend a workweek without Jonesing for a drink, but when it comes to when I actually do drink, my motto is "go big or go home."

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:03PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:03PM (#726306) Homepage Journal

        When did you learn that you're an alkie? Was it age two, or three? Before that? What exactly were the circumstances in which you figured out that you were an alkie? I'm almost certain that it wasn't until AFTER you had your first several hangovers.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:45PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:45PM (#726330) Homepage

          I started drinking regularly (well, if you count 1 or 2 forties a weekend as "regular") at age 14. The first time I realized what my drinking M.O. really was was at a party...also at age fourteen. I knew the people who were throwing it and got an early start hitting the keg. By the time the party kicked in at full-blast, I was already slurring and staggering and had moved on from beer to Aftershock. I had ruined my friend's chances of getting laid in the bed of his white Ford pickup truck when I passed out there and refused to move, and later puked that red aftershock vomit all over the side of the truck (he later said that the red stain was "very difficult" to remove). When the cops had raided the party, they went easy on all of us and let us all drive through a makeshift checkpoint as long as the drivers of the vehicles were somewhat coherent.

          Riding bitch in that white single-cab truck, the cop shined his light in my face and asked me where we were going. Being a huge Metallica fan, I replied, I'm going Back to the Front! For some reason, he let us go. That cop must have been a Metallica fan.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:40PM (#726325)

        Sounds so stupid it might be right. Nope, not right at all just stupid.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:02PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:02PM (#726367)

        Fortunately, I don't crave alcohol until after I have that first sip. Which means that I can spend a workweek without Jonesing for a drink, but when it comes to when I actually do drink, my motto is "go big or go home."

        My experience (and that of literally hundreds of people I have discussed this with) is that was also the case for me. I could take it or leave it. OTOH, once I started drinking, all bets were off and it was drink until I ran out or passed out. But, as I continued to drink, I found that it was a progressive disease, that over time I started to "jones" for a drink. In the end, I found i was drinking even when i didn't want to. I found that when I controlled my drinking, I could not enjoy it... and when I enjoyed my drinking, I could not enjoy it. I sincerely hope that if you find this happening to you that you seek out help. It is out there and thanks to that help I will be celebrating 25 years sober next week.

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:23PM (2 children)

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:23PM (#726373) Homepage

          You are wrong about me, brotherman. For reasons, I was for a brief period forced to attend AA meetings, and then I quickly discovered that I was not an alcoholic but abusing alcohol, which according to the definition everybody and their mom does. Congratulations on your sobriety, though, it take a strong mind to do that.

          But don't you miss it? Taking that one sip, the warmth in your belly when you feel it, and then everything is gonna be all right. It's like slipping into a warm bath. All of those annoying societal nags fade away, and you feel good again. You believe, "maybe this cult I'm in was wrong about some things," and you become human again. You accept that you are imperfect, and instead of feeling nonstop guilt you feel...normal. Yes, you had made mistakes previously in life, but now you have the maturity to move on. Life is good again!

          * Belch *

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:06PM

            by VLM (445) on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:06PM (#726535)

            You believe, "maybe this cult I'm in was wrong about some things," and you become human again. You accept that you are imperfect, and instead of feeling nonstop guilt you feel...normal.

            We wanted to hear about alcohol, not "how VLM and EthanolFueled abandoned leftism and became right wing". Not sure if I'm going for humor or insightful on this one. Both I suppose.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:24PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:24PM (#726540)

            Nope, don't miss it at all. I much appreciate being able to make decisions with a clear mind. Haven't had a hangover in over 25 years. A *large* part of getting and staying sober was making the realization that I *am* human and that I *do* make mistakes. That is not a character defect. I now have the tools to admit when I was wrong and to make amends for the harm I had done others. I have nothing from my past echoing in my head worrying that it might get found out. It has all been faced, addressed, and put to bed. The shame, remorse, and guilt is *gone*.

            I once heard someone refer to that noise in my head as "boots in the dryer" just going on and on and on. I could drown it out for times by getting drunk, but the problems still remained. When I faced those problems and truly was able to put them behind me, it was like someone finally turned off the dryer. I could finally experience true Peace. Of. Mind.

            Not only is life "good again", it is even gooder than it was before! =)

            Booze 'worked' for a long time, until it didn't any more. It sounds like it is still 'working' for you. That's fine. Maybe it will continue to work for you. That's fine, too! If it ever stops working, though, I hope you remember this discussion and get help. I have attended too many funerals of people who were unable to seek and accept the help that is available.

            P.S. Correction to my GP comment: Should have been phrased to state that I got to a point where: "When I enjoyed my drinking I could not control it, and when I controlled my drinking, I could not enjoy it."

            P.P.S. tl;dr If it's still working for you, that's fine. Really! Good for you! But, if it ever stop working, there's help.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:14PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:14PM (#726284)

    A study like this doesn't account for people who are more likely to die of heart disease than cancer. There are people who *smoke* and live to be 100+. The oldest woman who ever lived was like that. So I take all these studies with a grain of salt and think more about what my longer lived ancestors did, and what makes me feel good. I'll continue to occasionally have a glass or two every few weeks. My mom was cancer prone, but most of the family ultimately died of heart or lung disease in their 80s if disease or war didn't get them.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:55PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @06:55PM (#726303)

      People over 100 years old should largely be ignored. They're statistical outliers and if you look at the range of diet and exercise practices, a lot of them are engaged in behaviors that we specifically know to chop decades off of a person's life. But, they just happened to be the one in a large number of people with similar bad health habits that survived long enough to get old. The long tail of a distribution can be incredibly long at times.

      The better questions are really where is the mean and how many standard deviations do you need to get to in order to hit that age with differing dietary and exercise practices.

      It also neglects the quality of life of these various people. My grandfather "lived" to be 93, but the quality of life those last 15 or so years was horrendously bad. I was there when he tried to wash his hands in a urinal because so much of his brain had been damaged by the strokes he had. But, even at that age, it took nearly 2 weeks with no food or water before he finally died.

      The strokes were likely due to his diet during the years he was alive and the smoking probably didn't do him any favors either.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:12PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:12PM (#726336)

        People over 100 years old should largely be ignored. They're statistical outliers

        No, the "outliers" are the interesting data. This practice of throwing them out (or "ignoring" them) is just awful. So many self-defeating practices are rampant amongst medical researchers... I am seriously scared I will die any time I interact with healthcare workers at this point. Its only the basic common sense of doctors and nurses, etc that is saving us.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:52PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @08:52PM (#726346)

          The outliers are not the interesting data unless you can somehow identify those individuals as being a member of a group or class that can be studied. Just by random chance you're going to have a small number of people living to extreme old age. The maximum appears to be somewhere around 120 or so, but out of the billions of people on the planet, only around 316k people are believed to be over the age of 100 out of a population of roughly 7.3bn people.

          That is a tiny percentage of the population and there's no particular reason to believe that they're anything other than just random outliers. Indeed if you read up on what these people are doing in terms of lifestyle, there's not really much there to bunch them all together.

          You assume that there's things that can be learned from those of extreme age that would help younger folks, but there isn't any basis for the assumption that there's something that we can learn from them that would make much of a difference. By the time you're talking about somebody over the age of 100, you've already seen upwards of 99.99% of their peers die earlier.

          The more valuable question is figuring out how to decrease the total number of births and then increase the percentage surviving to see age 10, 20, 30, 40 etc., as that's much more valuable than trying to hit that kind of extreme age where the people aren't even necessarily healthy.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @10:07PM (#726370)

            The outliers are not the interesting data unless you can somehow identify those individuals as being a member of a group or class that can be studied.

            Yes, exactly. This is what should be done with outliers. They should not be ignored/dropped until you understand the reason for them (they lied about their birthday or whatever).

            Just by random chance you're going to have a small number of people living to extreme old age.

            "Random chance" just means you don't know why and you approximate reality by using some sampling distribution in your model. You can in fact predict exactly which side a coin will land on if all physical/environmental parameters are known. Usually we don't have all that info though, so we call it "random" and model it with an approximation. The rest of the post is premised on the idea "random chance" is some real external thing rather than reflecting someones state of knowledge.

            Moving "random" (previously called "the god(s) did it") to "non-random" is what happens as science progresses.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @12:16AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26 2018, @12:16AM (#726404)

            It's not just random chance. My great-grandmother lived to be 99. Her three sisters, 102, 105, 106. None of them had any sign of dementia.
            I don't know what the cause was, but I hope I inherited it.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:39AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:39AM (#726441) Journal

            The outliers are not the interesting data unless you can somehow identify those individuals as being a member of a group or class that can be studied.

            And of course, you can in this case.

            Just by random chance you're going to have a small number of people living to extreme old age.

            So why aren't people accidentally living to 300?

            You assume that there's things that can be learned from those of extreme age that would help younger folks, but there isn't any basis for the assumption that there's something that we can learn from them that would make much of a difference.

            Aside from the obvious, that they live longer than everyone else. And what we could learn from them may well allow the rest of us to live considerably longer as well.

            The more valuable question is figuring out how to decrease the total number of births and then increase the percentage surviving to see age 10, 20, 30, 40 etc., as that's much more valuable than trying to hit that kind of extreme age where the people aren't even necessarily healthy.

            Nonsense. It's mostly a solved problem. In the developed world, there's no significant die off of people until you get into the 50s and 60s. OTOH, survivors who make it to 100 have survived a lot of biological winnowing.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:36PM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:36PM (#726396) Journal

          I am seriously scared I will die any time I interact with healthcare workers at this point.

          And you a very right to be scared. Statistics will show that a very significant proportion of people in the civilized world outright die in hospital or you'll find they had an encounter with a medical practitioner in the prior year of his death.

          (my point: correlation/causation, you know it already)

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:47PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @11:47PM (#726398)

            Medical errors rank third in cause of death in the US:
            https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139 [bmj.com]
            https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html [cnbc.com]

            And that is just what they consider to be "errors". At least in the research end a lot of the "standard practice" is in error. It wouldn't surprise me if eg cancer treatments and lifestyle recommendations are causing more cancer, etc. Look at how skin cancer is skyrocketing since they started telling people to wear sunscreen and keep babies out of the sun.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 26 2018, @10:55AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @10:55AM (#726504) Journal

      Also, did they account for the fact that just from living longer, your chance of getting cancer during your lifetime increases?

      If you don't take that into account, then you'll find that looking left and right before you are crossing the street also will increase your risk of cancer.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:49PM (1 child)

    by Nuke (3162) on Saturday August 25 2018, @07:49PM (#726331)

    The "Global Burden of Disease" is the name of the study, but why is this a burden? Anything that bumps off pensioners sooner is surely saving money?

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:43AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 26 2018, @03:43AM (#726442) Journal
      A lot of diseases cripple younger people instead. Malaria, for example, has a chronic form which can cause the sufferer to experience recurring bouts of exhaustion and illness that can affect them for decades.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25 2018, @09:28PM (#726359)

    Don't give a fuck about the diet study of the day, will consume what makes me happy, who cares what the State or pharmaceutical companies want. They want you to be their source of revenue, a farm animal.

    I don't care whether I'll live to 100 or not, don't have a wife and kids to nag me about "doing something unhealthy".

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by gringer on Sunday August 26 2018, @09:39AM

    by gringer (962) on Sunday August 26 2018, @09:39AM (#726491)

    TLDR: too much uncertainty, and the average curves don't make sense.

    The relative risk graphs in the study are wonderful in that they show the individual data points (rather than just average lines), include individual uncertainties, and have the same X scale for all graphs; that's great stuff to do. They are a bit less wonderful in... most other areas:

    • X axis limit is too high; 5 drinks per day would be a better upper limit, because that seems to be where most of the data points finish
    • Y axis differs in all graphs
    • It is assumed that the uncertainty (of relative risks) for 0 drinks per day is 0 (not supported by the data points), and gradually increases up to the maximum drinks
    • The "total" graph has a kink at about 1 drink, and is essentially flat from that point to 0 drinks per day
    • The relative risk is relative to 0 drinks per day (which has high uncertainty due to lower sample sizes), rather than the population average number of drinks per day

    So, what about that average graph itself? Is it reasonable to say that, all things considered, there's a general trend for increased risk for any consumption at all?

    That depends on whether the average curves for each graph are being summed, or the individual data points. If the former, then there might be a case there. But those average curves have their own issues...

    • Most have a monotonic increasing (always going up) average curve, but the individual data points represented on the graphs suggest otherwise:
      • Atrial fibrulation and flutter
      • Epilepsy
      • Hemorrhagic stroke
      • Hypertensive heart disease
      • Interpersonal violence
      • Larynx cancer
      • Self-harm
      • Transport injuries
    • A few have obvious J-shaped relative risk curves (where the relative risk dips between zero drinks per day and one drink per day):
      • Diabetes mellitus
      • Ischaemic heart disease
      • Ischaemic stroke
    • There are only a few with data points that appear generally / consistently greater than 1 for relative risk:
      • Cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases. This one is hard to tell, because the Y scale is too large.
      • Pharynx and nasopharynx cancer
      • Pancreatitis (again, Y scale too large)
      • Tuberculosis
      • Unintentional injuries
    • For the remainder (mostly cancer), most have a high uncertainty at the low end:
      • Breast cancer
      • Colon and rectum cancer
      • Esophageal cancer
      • Larynx cancer
      • Lip and oral cavity cancer
      • Liver cancer
      • Lower respiratory infections
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:02PM (1 child)

    by VLM (445) on Sunday August 26 2018, @01:02PM (#726534)

    Its interesting no one has brought up evolution WRT building a rational theoretical model.

    Alcohol is quite poisonous and toxic to cells in high concentration. That's kinda the point; yeast wants to fuck and make more yeast, not become food for bacteria or mold or people or something, so alcohol is somewhat protective.

    It takes some semi-advanced primate brain to intentionally with malice do the organized agriculture thing to generate a modest surplus of produce, do the time-preference thing of waiting to brew instead of eating bread today, then precisely "rot" the stored produce under interesting biochemical conditions to maximize alcohol and minimize the usual products of rot such as mold, botulism, plain old stinky bacterial rot, whatevs.

    So... for all of our evolutionary history, eating rot usually meant you died, or at least were really sick compared to non-rot eating people, so if 5% of the time rotten fruit got you high instead of dead it doesn't matter. So it would not be a huge surprise that your innards have not evolved very well to eating rot aka alcohol.

    There is some evolutionary pressure, if your ancestors came from a brewing culture for zillion years you're much more likely to tolerate alcohol than the opposite, but its more a "generally speaking" kind of thing that on global average humans can't eat rotten food and expect it to turn out well.

    Given this theoretical model that "eating rot usually meant you died, so expecting enhanced liver function to tolerate one delicious type of rot is somewhat over optimistic" then the result of the study seems to match the theoretical model.

    • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Sunday August 26 2018, @06:27PM

      by pTamok (3042) on Sunday August 26 2018, @06:27PM (#726633)

      Given this theoretical model that "eating rot usually meant you died, so expecting enhanced liver function to tolerate one delicious type of rot is somewhat over optimistic" then the result of the study seems to match the theoretical model.

      But ripe-to-overripe fruit does have a non-zero amount of ethanol in it (Measured up to 8.1% (!!!)). The liver has evolved to take care of it using the alcohol dehydrogenases to convert ethanol and other alcohols into the corresponding aldehydes, and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase to convert acetaldehyde (which is more toxic than ethanol) into the (relatively) harmless acetic acid, the acetate ion being further metabolised to bicarbonate. The alcohol dehydrogenase allows you to eat ripe-to-overripe fruit without succumbing to acute harmful effects.

      This article gives a nice overview: Ethanol, Fruit Ripening, and the Historical Origins of Human Alcoholism in Primate Frugivory [oup.com]

  • (Score: 1) by Muad'Dave on Monday August 27 2018, @02:14PM

    by Muad'Dave (1413) on Monday August 27 2018, @02:14PM (#726900)

    They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury.

    How does a NON-drinker develop "an alcohol-related health problem"?

    Do they mean "a health problem most often associated with alcohol consumption"?

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