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Yippie! Great News!

 
 
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 05:26 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/08599201433200;_ylt=Am4WAbdtg9Jb9JNR9TPP.RIDwLAF;_ylu=X3oDMTM1dHBvZTVlBGFzc2V0A3RpbWUvMjAxMDA4MzAvMDg1OTkyMDE0MzMyMDAEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDaGVhdnlkcmlua2Vy

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that - for reasons that aren't entirely clear - abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers. (See pictures of booze under a microscope.)

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don't have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems.

But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life? It's true that those who abstain from alcohol tend to be from lower socioeconomic classes, since drinking can be expensive. And people of lower socioeconomic status have more life stressors - job and child-care worries that might not only keep them from the bottle but also cause stress-related illnesses over long periods. (They also don't get the stress-reducing benefits of a drink or two after work.)

But even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables - socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on - the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers. (Watch TIME's Video "Taste Test: Beer With Extra Buzz.")
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Type: Discussion • Score: 11 • Views: 2,797 • Replies: 20
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 05:38 pm
@edgarblythe,
Science continues to be a pesky problem for the anti-alcohol zealots. I imagine they'll figure something out.

Alcohol has a complicated inter-action with our bodies, and while we know it is good for us it will probably be a long while before we know the mechanism for how it improves health.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:02 pm
@edgarblythe,
Alcohol kills the bacteria. I think many people get ill from food poisoning and not consuming any alcohol, seems to let these little accumulated illnesses lead to serious problems and maybe death. Careless food handling or eating stale veggies or fruits can be problems.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:09 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. [...]

I really find that hard to believe. Besides, one can usually manipulate facts in such a way as to "prove" anything.

I, myself, don't drink alcohol for various reasons, one being medical.

As it was, I could just have easily died sometime after 1995 due to cancer.

So, now I'm going to die because I don't drink alcohol?

[facepalm]
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:23 pm
my prayer position is a bent elbow and one foot on a rail.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:25 pm
@talk72000,
Bacteria are natural and good for us, both outside our bodies and inside. In fact they are now discovering that our frantic attempts to kill bacteria with soaps and such was a very stupid thing to do.

However, alcohol has many effects on our digestive system and metabolism, one of those two mechanisms are the prime benefit to health I'll bet. Far back into Medieval times alcohol was thought to be good for digestion, and to be a general curative.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:26 pm
@talk72000,
talk, As a matter of fact, I make it a point to drink more alcohol when I'm traveling in foreign countries, because it kills bacteria. It's kept me healthy even when I find other travelers in our tour group get sick.

0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:27 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

my prayer position is a bent elbow and one foot on a rail.


Hallelujah, brother.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:28 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawk, Not all true; it's always a good idea to wash your hands often when traveling in foreign countries and touching handrails and escalators. I usually bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me, and use it liberally, especially before meals.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:29 pm
@Reyn,
Quote:
I really find that hard to believe. Besides, one can usually manipulate facts in such a way as to "prove" anything
the science in conclusive.

Quote:
So, now I'm going to die because I don't drink alcohol?
there are always personal variables, but statistically you will have less life expectancy than you would have had you drunk alcohol. If you are concerned about long life then you made the wrong choice.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:31 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
hawk, Not all true; it's always a good idea to wash your hands often when traveling in foreign countries and touching handrails and escalators. I usually bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me, and use it liberally, especially before meals.
But only because your body is not accustomed to the local bacteria. If you lived in any of these places all the time your bacteria killing routine would be counter productive.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:33 pm
@edgarblythe,
<high fives Edgar> Woot!
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
That goes without saying. Many countries have pretty good water, but just because their bacteria is a little different than ours, they recommend we drink bottled water. I just drink more beer and wine.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
However, given that we moderns are so mobile there might be some alcohol benefit statistically due to bacteria killing while traveling. I had not considered that before.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 03:05 pm
I no longer drink enough to kill bacteria that way, but I have several ways of doing it that serve as well or better.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 04:11 pm
@edgarblythe,
Alcohol may help in controlling the proliferation of bacteria and other micro-organisms such as mold and fungi, etc.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 05:03 pm
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:

So, now I'm going to die because I don't drink alcohol?
[facepalm]


No, there are other things you could die of sooner.

Let me check my medical coverage. . . .
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 05:31 pm
I feel sorry for people who don't drink.

When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. ~ Dean Martin (?)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 05:35 pm
@Irishk,
Snort..

(do you happen to be irish then, Irishk? says another one)
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 05:47 pm
@ossobuco,
And so is Mr.Irish!

May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, "this drink's on me."

(Irish drinking toast) Cheers!
0 Replies
 
 

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