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posted by n1 on Thursday August 28 2014, @06:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the starting-the-weekend-early dept.

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

 
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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:17PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:17PM (#86875)

    As a single datapoint, alcohol cause vasodilation, which helps blood flow. In many people, especially in fat-heavy modern societies, that may have a significant positive effect on health.

    Sure, you can also improve blood flow with aspirin, but alcohol has been found in over-ripened fruits for longer than apes have been doing agriculture (see the occasional drunk elephant story), making me conjecture that we probably developed the capacity to process small quantities with minimal harm.

    Other elements naturally found in wine are also conjectured to help given our growing reliance on over-processed foods. Would the same amount of grape or grape juice produce the same benefits? Probably, if you can convince people to eat or drink the right amount when there is no alcohol.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by DaTrueDave on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:28PM

    by DaTrueDave (3144) on Thursday August 28 2014, @07:28PM (#86883)

    Heh... You reminded me of this scene from a funny old documentary. All the animals have spent the day gorging themselves on warm, slightly fermented Marula fruit, which then ferments a bit more in their bellies. Funny results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opLbm0Ldl1k [youtube.com]

    And, having been to Africa a few times, I'll attest to the delicious potency of Marula liquor. You can try it without going to Africa by trying a bottle of Amarula next time you're in a liquor store. Creamy, fruity alcoholic greatness. Goes great on ice cream or in shakes.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday August 28 2014, @10:51PM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday August 28 2014, @10:51PM (#86957) Homepage
      You've earnt all my moderation points just for that youtube link! I haven't laughed so much for ages. My g/f and I were mostly in agreement over which ones were me, and which ones were her!
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @09:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @09:09AM (#87103)

      C'thulu's at 4:33!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by khallow on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:38PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:38PM (#86908) Journal

    Other elements naturally found in wine are also conjectured to help given our growing reliance on over-processed foods.

    So why isn't wine itself considered one of the oldest processed foods out there? (Well, aside perhaps from considering beverages as not being foods.) It is pretty heavily processed after all.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:46PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday August 28 2014, @08:46PM (#86913)

      I think it's the distinction between "I've harvested stuff, let me crush, mix, filter, ferment it" and "Yeah, food manufacturing takes way too long and costs too much, can I build something that looks the same using half the recipe, plus corn syrup, some derivative of crude oil, artificial colors and cellulose?"

      Both are an exaggeration, but the extreme cases that make it in the media (and clever Wine advertising) shape the perception.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @08:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @08:29AM (#87092)

      From what I've heard, beer is even older. Indeed, some people even hypothesise that the production of beer was the original reason for humans to settle and do agriculture.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @02:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29 2014, @02:08PM (#87199)
      Olive oil and coconut oil are processed foods too, doesn't stop some paleo nuts from considering them "paleo". But given that most don't eat insects and their grubs, I doubt they are really serious in following a real paleo diet ;).