THE MANY HEALTH BENEFITS OF ALCOHOL
"There is strong support here for the guideline published by the Chief Medical Officer of the UK who found that there is 'no safe level of alcohol consumption'. The conclusions of the study are clear and unambiguous: alcohol is a colossal global health issue and small reductions in health-related harms at low levels of alcohol intake are outweighed by the increased risk of other health-related harms." From the study being discussed today.
Although I'm not much of a fan of the Lancet (THIS IS THE SORT OF STUPIDITY THEY HAVE TOO-OFTEN DEVOLVED TO), the journal recently carried a scientific literature review by a British liver specialist and an alcohol researcher from the Addictions Department at London's King's College, titled No Level of Alcohol Consumption Improves Health. Despite everything you may have heard for decades about the benefits of "moderate" consumption of alcohol, these two say is isn't so, backing it up with some shockingly harsh numbers.
They started by discussing a recent study titled Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD), which they agreed "is the most comprehensive estimate of the global burden of alcohol use to date". After looking at alcohol-related habits and stats for 195 nations from 1990 through 2016 --- 27 years, they determined that it "is the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs)." How big a deal is this in real numbers? For women, alcohol use accounts for slightly over 2% of their mortality rate. We men are not as smart, with alcohol arguably being the major player in nearly 7% of worldwide deaths. These statistics, according to the study's authors......
"clearly demonstrate the substantial, and larger than previously estimated, contribution of alcohol to death, disability, and ill health, globally. The burden is particularly borne among those aged 15–49 years, for whom alcohol ranks as the leading cause of DALYs. In this population."
After declaring previous estimates of alcohol-related morbidity and mortality to be "inaccurate" and "unreliable," and looking at numerous studies that have touted various protective health benefits of moderate use, they discussed how over 12% of the deaths of males in the age group above are the direct result of alcohol. They also showed how the small benefits of alcohol on cardiovascular and other diseases are offset by the increased risk of certain other diseases, including cancer (how can we be shocked knowing that SUGAR FEEDS CANCER?). Thus, their recommendation that, "The level of consumption that minimizes an individual's risk is 0 grams of ethanol per week."
What I found doubly interesting was their discussion of an aspect of this research that has been widely (universally) known forever but little talked about except by certain churches or "prudish" school teachers --- the fact that there are equally significant issues at play besides the health-related problems mentioned above. "Furthermore, the harmful impact of alcohol extends beyond health into families, crime and disorder, and the workplace. Evidence demonstrating the range and magnitude of the harm of alcohol to those other than the drinker is increasingly emerging."
The point of today's post is not to brow beat those choosing to have a glass of vino (to two) with dinner. It's to show that "moderation" is not necessarily what people think it is or what they've been taught it is. Interestingly, this same phenomenon is seen epidemically as far as SUGAR ADDICTIONS ARE CONCERNED. While it's true that there are people who can handle 'a bit' (a "moderate" amount) of sugar, the rest of us --- arguably the majority of us --- turn into sweet- or junk-craving monsters with just a taste; a fact evidenced by the explosion of CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES (yes, everything you are thinking of is on this list of inflammation-driven health issues).
For those of you struggling with these sorts of health problems who might be looking for that elusive "EXIT STRATEGY" that the medical and pharmaceutical industries are not providing, take a moment and look at the inflammation-busting tips in THIS FREE POST. While not a 'cure-all,' it provides a framework for getting the ball rolling. If you thought today's post was worthwhile (I realize there are many who will not and that's OK), be sure and get it in front of the people you love and care about most. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is via FACEBOOK.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).