Fermentation Blog: Source Says Feds Will Declare "No Amount of Alcohol" is Healthy

Me. Had hypertension for years but also drank more (quite a bit more) than 4 drinks a day. At least one bottle of 13.5-16% cab a night. BP hovered around 150/100 for years (on meds). Quit for 6 months after I thought I was having a heart attack one morning. Got rid of my car and started walking everywhere (plus extra walks/steps for exercise). Lost 30 pounds and BP dropped to normal.

Over time I’ve slowly ramped back up to 1-2 drinks a night of 7-9% abv Riesling with a day off here or there for whatever reason. Watched BP like a hawk the entire time. Still normal and I’ve reduced my BP meds by half. Going to talk to my doctor soon about taking me off BP meds entirely!

5 Likes

I don’t believe it’s quite that clear cut, but I do believe that there are competing factions with their own agendas. This recent paper published in “Nature” indicates a mixed bag, depending on what type of meta-analysis is performed. Burden of Proof - Nature

It doesn’t take a genius nor complex statistical analysis to know that not-so-moderate drinking is deleterious to many aspects of health. I doubt it will be easy to prove that light to moderate drinking, especially when combined with a generally healthy lifestyle, incurs significant health risks, and I’m not sure that anything has been conclusively “debunked” regarding some of the possible benefits.

2 Likes

I think that sums it up pretty well, and you can mostly just figure that out with common sense and observation.

The only thing I’d add to your summation is that living the maximum number of years with the minimum number of health problems isn’t my goal, nor is it most people’s. I could increase my life expectancy by never eating or drinking anything enjoyable and wearing a Kevlar suit and helmet any time I’m in a car but I’m not tempted to do either thing.

It’s all about tradeoffs. I went heli skiing with my brothers for four days in Canada a couple years ago, and there was far more risk of injury or death than almost anything else I could be doing those days, but I chose to make the trade off. And I didn’t wear a Kevlar helmet and suit in the car on the way there.

1 Like

Light drinking significantly increases the risk of female breast cancer. There are hundreds of studies demonstrating this risk. I think the risk of other cancer and cancer in males is more equivocal. The risk of female breast cancer alone is responsible for most of the increased mortality from light drinking.

I spent a bit of time reading the new nature paper, and need to spend a bit more time how they designed their “burden of proof” model for the meta analysis. Also, I need to spend a bit of time looking at how these other studies controlled for other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

On the surface it seems to make little sense, 30% risk reduction for any alcohol consumption seems completely unrealistic. That’s 3x higher than the ARR for taking aspirin. I need to spend a little more time with the data.

1 Like

Very interested to see what you find!

The methodology seems sound; it sounds like the average risk reduction they found was more like 10% across all studies, so a similar effect when compared to aspirin. They did correct for a lot of risk factors, but the study did not differentiate between what type of alcohol was consumed.

I agree the data is pretty clear on female breast cancer. I probably wasn’t clear in my post that that was a given.