Is That Drink Worth It to You?

Alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, which may be why any alcohol news seems to have found a receptive audience in recent years. In 2022, an episode of the “Huberman Lab” podcast, dedicated to elaborating the various risks of alcohol for the body and the brain, was one of the most popular of the show that year. Non-alcoholic spirits gained so much popularity that they began to form the basis of comprehensive nightlife guides; and more and more people now report using cannabis rather than alcohol on a daily basis.

Some governments are responding to the new research by revamping their messaging. Last year, Ireland became the first country to pass legislation requiring a cancer warning on all alcohol products sold there, similar to those found on cigarettes: “There is a direct link between alcohol and deadly cancers,” it reads. And in Canada, the government revised its alcohol guidelines, announcing: “We now know that even a small amount of alcohol can be harmful to your health. » The guidelines characterize one to two drinks per week as “low risk” and three to six drinks as “moderate risk.” (Previously, guidelines suggested that women limit themselves to two standard drinks most of the time, and men set that limit at three.)

No amount of alcohol is good for you – that much is clear. But one might reasonably ask: how bad is it? The information we receive about health risks often glosses over the details of the actual risk a person faces, as if these are not details worth knowing. These days, when I consider having a drink with dinner, I wonder how much to adjust my behavior in light of this new research. Over the years, we have been told that many things are either very good or very bad for us: drinking coffee, running, running barefoot, limiting calories, eating only protein, eating only carbohydrates. The conversation in my head goes something like this: “Should I be worried? Obviously, to some extent, yes. But how many, exactly?

Tim Stockwell, a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, is one of the leaders responsible for our cultural correction regarding alcohol, a credit that is all the more remarkable because he was once convinced of its health benefits. Stockwell believed so strongly in moderate drinking that he wrote, in a commentary in Australia’s premier medical journal in 2000, that skeptics on the subject could reasonably be lumped into the same category as “the skeptics of manned lunar missions and the members of Flat”. Earth Society.

Shortly afterward, Stockwell received a phone call from Kaye Middleton Fillmore, a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who told him she had doubts about the research that Stockwell considered so solid. Fillmore was concerned about possible misleading variables in the studies: For starters, they included former drinkers in the “abstinent” category, which meant they didn’t account for the possibility that some people had stopped drinking specifically due to illness. In comparison, moderate drinkers appeared healthy, creating the illusion that a moderate amount of alcohol was beneficial.

News Source :
Gn Health

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