Author Topic: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?  (Read 1096 times)

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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 #15 on: April 29, 2019, 05:03:54 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.
From a dark humor perspective, it's ironic. And no, the LD50 of heroin isn't as bad as that of alcohol, according to Steve, who sited the research in previous episodes of the pod.

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Offline jt512

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2019, 06:43:01 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.

No, that is not true.  There is a mountain of evidence that drinking 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 for men has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease risk, compared with both non-drinking and heavier drinking.  However, some recent reanalyses of some of this evidence has suggested that the observed elevated risk for non-drinkers compared with moderated drinkers might be due to pre-existing medical conditions in non-drinkers who were formerly drinkers.  This has resulted in the long-standing opinion that moderate drinking is beneficial compared with non-drinking to come into question.  However, the issue is not settled, and the assertion that the message that moderate drinking is ok is due to cultural constraints is unfounded.

That said, few doctors would recommend that a non-drinker begin drinking moderately, because of the real risk of moderate drinking evolving into heavy drinking, which is clearly deleterious.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 06:45:23 PM by jt512 »
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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 #17 on: April 29, 2019, 06:54:29 PM »
That's not what "we shouldn't drink" means.  "We shouldn't drink" means that as a whole, our entire species probably shouldn't drink.  The overall cost is greater than the overall benefit.  If we didn't do it already, there would be no overall benefit gained by introducing it.

That said, I'm going to continue my <1 drink per week.  And to make much worse life decisions regarding diet and exercise (there is no ideological diet position that would approve of what I do).
Big Mike
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Offline jt512

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2019, 06:59:30 PM »
That's not what "we shouldn't drink" means.  "We shouldn't drink" means that as a whole, our entire species probably shouldn't drink.  The overall cost is greater than the overall benefit.  If we didn't do it already, there would be no overall benefit gained by introducing it.

Not if you believe the substantial body of evidence showing that 1-2 drinks per day is healthier than no drinks at all.
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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 #19 on: April 29, 2019, 07:26:30 PM »
That's not what "we shouldn't drink" means.  "We shouldn't drink" means that as a whole, our entire species probably shouldn't drink.  The overall cost is greater than the overall benefit.  If we didn't do it already, there would be no overall benefit gained by introducing it.

Not if you believe the substantial body of evidence showing that 1-2 drinks per day is healthier than no drinks at all.

For everyone in society, no matter how susceptible to alcoholism, or even the desire to have more than 1-2 per day.  No I don't believe it.  Or, rather, I believe the studies found exactly what they said they found, but that doesn't extrapolate farther than the bounds of those studies.  All of the posts mentioning "excluding recovered alcoholics from the non-drinkers"; I refuse to exclude them from the species.
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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 #20 on: April 29, 2019, 07:38:24 PM »
I'm also defending a position much more strongly than I feel it (welcome to arguing on the internet).  It's not a super important one to me, it just feels rude to abandon a discussion in the middle haha.
Big Mike
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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2019, 10:19:12 PM »
That's not what "we shouldn't drink" means.  "We shouldn't drink" means that as a whole, our entire species probably shouldn't drink.  The overall cost is greater than the overall benefit.  If we didn't do it already, there would be no overall benefit gained by introducing it.

Not if you believe the substantial body of evidence showing that 1-2 drinks per day is healthier than no drinks at all.

Even if that’s the case (and I think it is), if you look at the population and make the assessment is the population healthier with alcohol than they would be without it I think on balance alcohol is far more unhealthy.





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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 #22 on: April 29, 2019, 11:43:09 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.

No, that is not true.  There is a mountain of evidence that drinking 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 for men has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease risk, compared with both non-drinking and heavier drinking.  However, some recent reanalyses of some of this evidence has suggested that the observed elevated risk for non-drinkers compared with moderated drinkers might be due to pre-existing medical conditions in non-drinkers who were formerly drinkers.  This has resulted in the long-standing opinion that moderate drinking is beneficial compared with non-drinking to come into question.  However, the issue is not settled, and the assertion that the message that moderate drinking is ok is due to cultural constraints is unfounded.

That said, few doctors would recommend that a non-drinker begin drinking moderately, because of the real risk of moderate drinking evolving into heavy drinking, which is clearly deleterious.
As Steve and you yourself point out, more recent research has in fact thrown more than a little doubt on the idea that any alcohol is helpful. I did some digging, and found this article in the BMJ, and damn those froggy French! (JK of course.)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1768013/

This debate actually centers around the "French Paradox" and the decline effect. Specifically, researchers noticed two things going on: the drinking of red wine *throughout* each day by the French andvtheir low incidence of heart disease.

Then conjecture lead to the violation of the skeptical rule on correlation.

As researchers attempted to replicate the phenomenon while tightening up their controls, the effect went away. IE, subtract the Mediterranean diet and the heart disease came back.

At the very least, as the following articles point out, nobody should start drinking in the hopes of getting healthier, and nor should anybody assume that responsible drinking is actually helping.

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-health-benefits-of-moderate-drinking/

https://theconversation.com/the-french-paradox-turned-out-to-be-an-illusion-but-it-led-to-some-interesting-research-78196

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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2019, 01:14:46 AM »


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.

I'm 67 and deadlifted 2x bodyweight (and age) today.  I like good scotch, pinot, shiraz and craft beers too much to think about stopping now.
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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 #24 on: April 30, 2019, 09:34:41 AM »
That's not what "we shouldn't drink" means.  "We shouldn't drink" means that as a whole, our entire species probably shouldn't drink.  The overall cost is greater than the overall benefit.  If we didn't do it already, there would be no overall benefit gained by introducing it.

Not if you believe the substantial body of evidence showing that 1-2 drinks per day is healthier than no drinks at all.

As has been noted in this thread, that body of evidence is not at all robust.  There is also evidence to the contrary. While I still drink, I'm pretty much convinced that there is no amount of alcohol that can be considered healthy.  At best, a small amount is not harmful.   

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2019, 11:11:36 AM »
I do not think that there is strong evidence either for or against moderate drinking. There are hints in either direction, and it may turn out that there is a small negative effect, but I imagine it will be along the lines of the effect of processed meats and significantly less that that of added sugar.

I therefore think that “don’t smoke and drink moderately” is a perfectly fine summary of the state of the science.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2019, 11:22:47 AM »
I do not think that there is strong evidence either for or against moderate drinking. There are hints in either direction, and it may turn out that there is a small negative effect, but I imagine it will be along the lines of the effect of processed meats and significantly less that that of added sugar.

I therefore think that “don’t smoke and drink moderately” is a perfectly fine summary of the state of the science.

I would modify that to:

"Don't smoke. Drink moderately if at all."

I find the effects of alcohol to be unpleasant. If my doctor told me to "drink moderately" I'd be unhappy with the advice.
Daniel
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2019, 11:28:21 AM »
I think that you (and others in this thread) are misunderstanding Steve's words (or are pretending to do so). Advice to 'drink moderately' is not advice to start drinking if one does not, but to moderate one's drinking if one does. I find it hard to believe that anyone could take it otherwise.
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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 #28 on: April 30, 2019, 12:34:51 PM »
I do not think that there is strong evidence either for or against moderate drinking. There are hints in either direction, and it may turn out that there is a small negative effect, but I imagine it will be along the lines of the effect of processed meats and significantly less that that of added sugar.

I therefore think that “don’t smoke and drink moderately” is a perfectly fine summary of the state of the science.
I think it depends on what you consider moderate.  My understanding is, less than one drink a day and not more than two on any given day is what health professionals consider moderate.  Which, IME, is less than almost anyone who drinks actually drinks. 

You are almost certainly correct, its fairly silly to think that Steve was advising anyone to drink more or start drinking, he was pretty clearly advising people who already do to, moderate their drinking.

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Re: Is it healthier to drink alcohol in moderation compared to not at all?
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2019, 01:32:51 PM »
Quote from: Marge Simpson
I've been so bored since we moved here, I found myself drinking a glass of wine every day. I know doctors say you should drink a glass and a half, but I just can't drink that much.

 

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