Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Wishing It Were So, Doesn't Make The Grade

"As much as they try and account for different variables, we can’t say definitively that having more than seven drinks a week is going to lead to a lower life expectancy for an individual."
"That’s based on so many factors — their genetic ability to metabolize alcohol, their other overall health and wellness, whether they eat well, exercise, whether they manage their stress."
"From a health perspective, what you’re not supposed to do is save up all your drinks for the weekend. For better health, keep your daily drinking moderate."

"One study comes out saying one thing and other researchers try to replicate those results, and they may or may not. It takes time for a body of evidence to accumulate."
"It’s really important for us not to kind of flip-flop or worry about changing our entire lives based on one study."
Desiree Nielsen, registered dietitian, Vancouver 
Health benefits from drinking alcohol? Sorry, but it’s just another case of something that is too good to be true, say experts. Photograph: Inti St Clair/Getty Images/Blend Images

“Above two units a day, the death rates steadily climb."
"The paper estimates a 40-year-old drinking four units a day above the guidelines [the equivalent of drinking three glasses of wine in a night] has roughly two years’ lower life expectancy, which is around a 20th of their remaining life. This works out at about an hour per day. So it’s as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, about 15 minutes of life, about the same as a cigarette."
"Of course, it’s up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile."
"[It represents] a massive and very impressive study. It estimates that, compared to those who only drink a little, people who drink at the current UK guidelines suffer no overall harm in terms of death rates, and have 20% fewer heart attacks."
David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor, public understanding of risk, University of Cambridge

There was a time -- and it seems not all that long ago -- that pregnant women were urged to drink beer, informed it was a good source of protein and would aid their pregnancy nutritionally. And even now people continue to think that a little alcohol consumed during a pregnancy cannot be harmful to the fetus, even while scientific research is desperately slamming that fiction, pointing out that even small amounts of alcohol taken while pregnant can result in various levels of fetal alcohol syndrome in children whose mothers drank while pregnant.

Now, a new and very large international study finds that those men and women who regularly imbibe over seven drinks on a weekly basis can look forward to their devotion to alcohol coming with a dear price; early death. At the very least, dying at a sooner date than their peers who are careful to studiously restrict alcohol intake to an occasional drink on special occasions. 

"What this is saying is, if you're really concerned about your longevity, don't have more than a drink a day", David Jernigan, alcohol researcher at  Johns Hopkins University, observed. He was not involved in the research that combined 83 studies' results conducted in 19 countries which tracked alcohol consumption for close to 600,000 people. The focus of the researchers was who developed and died from stroke and various types of heart disease.

Roughly half the study participants divulged having had over 100 grams of alcohol weekly. In American terms 100 grams is the equivalent of seven 12-ounce cans of beer, five-ounce glasses of wine, or 1.5 ounce shots of run, gin or other distilled spirits. Among whom researchers discerned a higher risk of stroke, heart failure and associated problems within that group.

The study estimated that 40-year-old men who consume up to the current American guidelines that permit for good health, can expect to sacrifice one to two years of life in contrast to men who take no more than seven drinks each week. Isn't moderation the key in everything in life, to guarantee longer life? The risk inherent in too liberal alcohol consumption may reflect that elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels result from alcohol consumption. 

Currently, no more than seven drinks weekly for women and 14 for men reflect the recommendations by the U.S. government. Studies found that women react quicker to alcohol effects at amounts lower than do men, attributed in part to women weighing less than men on average, and that blood alcohol concentrations rise quicker in women.

Canada and Sweden reflect similar guidelines to those the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. has set, while countries like Spain and Romania set their upper limit for men at 20 drinks weekly. Until several years back, British guidelines reflected American standards, when the U.K. brought recommendations for men down to match those for women.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet