A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirms a strong link between moderate alcohol intake and a reduced risk of death.
Why can’t prohibitionist diehards seem to accept the idea that alcohol in moderation benefits your health when the science — over many decades — shows it reduces disease risk and increases longevity?
Nobody disputes that excessive alcohol abuse contributes to early death. But the health effects of alcohol at lower levels are different.
For one, moderate drinking reduces stress. And you’d think cardiologists would be the first to realize that stress is the underlying cause of heart disease…and that reducing stress, in turn, reduces heart disease.
You’d also think they wouldn’t need another huge, expensive study to show what we already know.
But here we go again…
Moderate drinkers have lower mortality risk
This time, the new study tracked alcohol use and lifestyle factors for 333,000 men and women over an average of eight years.
The researchers defined “light and moderate drinkers” as having 14 or fewer drinks per week for men, and seven or fewer drinks per week for women.
Overall, light-to-moderate drinkers were 20 percent less like to die from any cause during the follow-up period. Plus, they were 30 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer in the U.S. today. Interestingly, the protective effects were even stronger among women, white participants, and middle-aged and older people.
Of course, evidence also linked heavy drinking with an 11 percent higher risk of dying from all causes. But they had no higher risk of death from heart disease specifically. Binge drinking (having five or more drinks in one day) one or more times per week was also associated with a higher risk of dying.
Previous studies included men and women who were once drinkers, but later stopped. And this may have affected the results. For example, some people quit drinking when they develop a serious medical condition. And that condition increased their risk of dying.
But this new study eliminated that problem. It only compared current drinkers to lifetime abstainers.
Benefits of moderate drinking outweigh other risks
When these kinds of studies come out that support the benefits of moderate drinking, the prohibitionists seem to “scrape the bottom of the barrel” for a reply. They point to controversial findings about a slightly increased risk of breast cancer in younger women drinkers, for example.
I was at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) 30 years ago, when my late colleague, Arthur Schatzkin, first discovered a possible link between breast cancer and higher alcohol consumption (with lower cholesterol levels).
However, the new article finds that the substantial health benefits of moderate drinking and decreased risk of chronic disease clearly “outweigh the possible cancer risk.”
But, of course, they still call for more research.
They suggest doing a study in which they would assign different groups of people to drink different amounts of alcohol over lengthening periods of time. This study would be a prospective trial in a cohort of people over time.
The researchers claim it might help settle the debate about moderate drinking. But what debate? Why is there still a debate?
The government-industrial-medical complex continues to waste billions and billions of dollars conducting the same studies over and over again.
You would think some experts would be willing to reach a conclusion (especially if they apply some common sense). Nevertheless, they always seem to conclude that they still “need more research.” (That’s like letting a used car salesman tell you it’s time to buy another car.)
Even scientists from the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Italy wrote that we shouldn’t dismiss the new findings that support the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption for longevity. Please note, the conclusion of the Italians was written in plain English.
One thing I’m certainly not afraid to conclude — you shouldn’t be afraid to have a glass or two of Italian wine with dinner or hoist a couple beers for Oktoberfest!
I will give you all the details about how to “eat, drink and be merry” for your health over the holidays and year-round in the November issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter.
“Relationship of Alcohol Consumption to All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer-Related Mortality in U.S. Adults,” Journal of the American College of Cardiologists (www.onlinejacc.org) 8/14/2017