Irreconcilable contradictions: why do scientists continue to argue about the benefits of alcohol
“Why do we even argue that alcohol can be useful ?”, Doctors ask. “Because we have in our hands the research data that confirm this,” – they answer scientists. Well, or something like that. In fact, the question of the benefits of alcohol is one of the most controversial in medicine. And this is because almost every day universities around the world publish studies, the results of which are “for” or “against” moderate consumption of alcohol.
It is clear that every Friday to spend in the bar – the idea is not the best. But what about a glass of wine for dinner two or three times a week? A new thematic report, described by MedicineNet, does not raise any of these issues. But he says, however, that it is reasonable for each of us to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed.
Andrew Kunzmann and his colleagues at the University of Queens (Queen’s University) in Belfast conducted a study in which data on the health status and the amount of alcohol consumed by almost 100,000 American adults were analyzed. The results showed that reducing alcohol consumption by even one serving reduced the person’s chances of dying during the next 9 years if one compares risk indicators with non-drinkers or more drinkers.
Researchers also identified an ideal reduced dose of alcohol – 1-2 drinks per week for both men and women. However, Kunzmann stressed that the results do not indicate that moderate drinking alone is good for health. “Speech, rather, that the decrease in the level of alcohol consumption is good for the person. So we strongly recommend caution when interpreting these results, “he says.
According to the authors of the study, there are many other things that could potentially increase the life expectancy of participants, including higher incomes, better diets and optimal physical activity.
The same opinion is held by Timothy Stockwell, the head of one and research institutes at the University of Victoria.
“For many years, studies have talked at least about the benefits that moderate consumption of alcohol offers to the heart and blood vessels. One of the main problems here, in my opinion, is that drinkers in these experiments are often confronted with non-drinkers, not taking into account the fact that many people give up alcohol because of existing health problems, “he explains his position.
In his own study Stockwell found that if you focus on the shortcomings of alcohol , then the so-called advantages will disappear. Over the course of nine years, almost 10% of participants in his study died, and another 13% had cancer diagnosed. Also, according to a study whose findings were published by PLOS Medicine, the risk of cancer was 10% higher in people who consume alcohol moderately, and 21% higher in those who often exceeded the permissible level of alcohol (three drinks a day and more ).
According to Timothy Stockwell, at the moment the scientific consensus as to whether alcohol is useful or not is impossible. But he agrees with colleagues that in moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages there is nothing terrible. “However, it is unlikely that this will make you more healthy,” he concludes.