Author Topic: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?  (Read 1617 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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In the most recent SGU episode (#720), the the quote segment in the end, Steve spoke briefly about how to stay healthy. Among the things he mentioned was to not smoke at all, and to drink alcohol in moderation. Not smoking at all is of course a no-brainer. But to drink alcohol in moderation? My understanding, from a purely health point of view, is that it is best not to drink any alcohol at all. Is it really preferable to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not drink any at all?
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Offline DanDanDan

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In the most recent SGU episode (#720), the the quote segment in the end, Steve spoke briefly about how to stay healthy. Among the things he mentioned was to not smoke at all, and to drink alcohol in moderation. Not smoking at all is of course a no-brainer. But to drink alcohol in moderation? My understanding, from a purely health point of view, is that it is best not to drink any alcohol at all. Is it really preferable to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not drink any at all?
If there's one thing I learned at rehab, the answer is nope. Zero alcohol has a bazillion upsides, the alternative does not.

Previous studies showing otherwise had contaminated control groups.

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Online Noisy Rhysling

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I drink a shot now and then, sometimes 2 in a day, sometimes none. We've been married nine years and my wife has seen me drunk once. So it varies from person to person.
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Offline 2397

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As far as I understand it, there are no long term benefits to consuming alcohol. The statistical appearance of it being beneficial is due to people who have certain health problems being more likely to avoid alcohol.

There's probably an amount greater than 0 that can be consumed without causing damage, but any level of being drunk is a level of being poisoned by alcohol.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 04:02:52 PM by 2397 »

Online daniel1948

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My father's doctor told him to have one drink per day for his heart. This would have been 40 or 50 years ago. It was thought that one drink per day was relatively harmless and that it helped to lower your blood pressure. Skip ahead 2 or 3 decades and the Mayo clinic was saying that there was some inconclusive evidence that one drink per day might have some small beneficial effects, and that if you were a moderate (one drink per day) drinker, it was okay, but that the risks associated with alcohol far outweighed any possible benefits and nobody should start drinking to get those uncertain benefits. Now the science is pretty conclusive: there are no health benefits from drinking. The harmful effects of moderate (one a day) drinking are probably minor, but it's always better not to drink alcohol at all.

This is definitely a field that has developed and matured just during my adult lifetime.
Daniel
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Offline Ah.hell

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My understanding is that the supposed benefit of moderate drinking is a results of studies that showed non drinkers being less healthy but that disappears when you ask if the person is or was an alcoholic.  Teatotalers that never drank do appear to be healthier than moderate drinkers. 

Offline lonely moa

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Probably not, but I have no intention of quitting in the near future. 
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Offline amysrevenge

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There's no statistical middle ground here.  It seems that there's this (ridiculously high, to me) threshold of "one drink per day" where if you are below that, you are lumped in with Mormons and recovered alcoholics and other teetotalers.  I'm not ideologically a non-drinker, but I'm also not ideologically a drinker.  I don't do casual drinking - at social events with drinking, I just don't.  But I like to have a 4-pack of nice ciders in my fridge, which might last me 6 weeks or more.  And I had a really great ginger beer on my birthday.  But, nooo, anything less than 1 per day is a non-drinker.  Whatever.  Haha
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This is a misunderstanding on your part.

When Steve said "drink alcohol in moderation," he was not saying "you have to drink alcohol to be healthy." He means that if you must drink, do so in moderation. There is no subtext in his statement that might imply alcohol is good for you.
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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This is a misunderstanding on your part.

When Steve said "drink alcohol in moderation," he was not saying "you have to drink alcohol to be healthy." He means that if you must drink, do so in moderation. There is no subtext in his statement that might imply alcohol is good for you.

But then the statement regarding smoking doesn't quite fit, which is what maybe confuses me. He did not say that you should smoke in moderation (if you must smoke), instead that you should not smoke at all. That's why there is a discrepancy with the advice to drink in moderation, at least to my mind.
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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 04:35:45 PM »
This is a misunderstanding on your part.

When Steve said "drink alcohol in moderation," he was not saying "you have to drink alcohol to be healthy." He means that if you must drink, do so in moderation. There is no subtext in his statement that might imply alcohol is good for you.

But then the statement regarding smoking doesn't quite fit, which is what maybe confuses me. He did not say that you should smoke in moderation (if you must smoke), instead that you should not smoke at all. That's why there is a discrepancy with the advice to drink in moderation, at least to my mind.
No, they are equivalent statements in terms of health effects. All smoking is bad. Do not smoke in moderation. Avoid any smoking at all. Drinking in moderation is fine, so either don't drink or drink a little.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 04:36:39 PM »
This is a misunderstanding on your part.

When Steve said "drink alcohol in moderation," he was not saying "you have to drink alcohol to be healthy." He means that if you must drink, do so in moderation. There is no subtext in his statement that might imply alcohol is good for you.

But then the statement regarding smoking doesn't quite fit, which is what maybe confuses me. He did not say that you should smoke in moderation (if you must smoke), instead that you should not smoke at all. That's why there is a discrepancy with the advice to drink in moderation, at least to my mind.

It's because we also shouldn't drink, but culturally aren't ready to put it in the same category as smoking.  So we have to settle on "moderation" as the best anyone could possibly be expected to manage.
Big Mike
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Offline DanDanDan

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 04:38:37 PM »
This is a misunderstanding on your part.

When Steve said "drink alcohol in moderation," he was not saying "you have to drink alcohol to be healthy." He means that if you must drink, do so in moderation. There is no subtext in his statement that might imply alcohol is good for you.

But then the statement regarding smoking doesn't quite fit, which is what maybe confuses me. He did not say that you should smoke in moderation (if you must smoke), instead that you should not smoke at all. That's why there is a discrepancy with the advice to drink in moderation, at least to my mind.

It's because we also shouldn't drink, but culturally aren't ready to put it in the same category as smoking.  So we have to settle on "moderation" as the best anyone could possibly be expected to manage.
Bingo. And I've always found it ironic that the most popular drug is also the most deadly, in terms of lives lost.

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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 04:54:51 PM »
Probably not, but I have no intention of quitting in the near future.
I'm 68, I'll quit for good in the near future.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2019, 04:58:15 PM »
Bingo. And I've always found it ironic that the most popular drug is also the most deadly, in terms of lives lost.

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Is it ironic?  Seems like its stands to reason if you ask me.  Would, heroine have similar death toll if it were as popular?

Side note, on my last visit my doctor suggested I should switch to pot.  He's probably right but I prefer booze. 


Probably not, but I have no intention of quitting in the near future.
I'm 68, I'll quit for good in the near future.
I'm  47, with luck I won't quit for a few decades. 

 

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