Addiction specialist Stanton Peele is someone you might think is a frilly-skirted temperance-firebranding ladyboy, attempting to reinstate mandatory-petticoatage & prohibition at every possible turn.
But you would be wrong. He is doing something quite the opposite.
In his fiery piece over at Substance, now Pacific Standard, he goes to great lengths to tease out a recommendation that could seriously reduce people’s mortality & the +/- “coverup” about it that is endemic;
-to his very own industry.
What is this miracle recommendation, you ask?
Among other doctors & scientists, he points out that drinking up to a certain point is actually good for you. (even the DHHS agrees)
And he points out the data to illustrate it, including one 2006 meta-analysis by JAMA that covers 34 studies and One Million people.
In one of the most important points he makes, he takes the analysis one step further and goes over the WAY that many of the study-results are phrased.
His clever contention is that they are almost always stated in a way to discourage drinking because of political fears about alcoholism.
-In other words, “Yes, we did find out that almost everything short of acute binge-drinking lowers your risk of death by up to 50%. -But we’re going to state that in the most obscure way possible, and Still try to scare the hell out of people with stories of The Boogeyman”.
He cites several instances of studies doing just that; and mentions there are not just a few, but Hundreds of studies supporting the health-benefits of alcohol.
And the strongest-point?
Drinking Reduces Frequency of Death by Heart Disease.
The biggest cause of mortality we have yet.
-Besides Death itself. Death is certainly a bigger cause of Death than all other factors.
Also reduced are coronary-artery-disease, dementia, cognitive decline, and a few strokes.
Further teasing out the case for alcohol, any alcohol at-all, he cites a Johns Hopkins review showed no benefit from Red Wine’s oft-touted Wünder-Compound, Resveratrol.
He also adds that no study has found that a Certain Type of alcohol, like beer, wine, or spirits is better or worse for you.
Now I’m not sure if there are other confounding-factors, but Peele also compares us to other developed countries with well-developed health-systems, and cites in pretty damning-fashion:
“The U.S. is not a heavy-drinking nation, yet its health outcomes are poor compared with other economically-advanced nations.”
I know I’m not a brain-doctor like Daniel Amen, who says alcohol is directly-toxic to noggin-tissue.
But I’ve also watched ASAPScience’s video on Brain Myths, especially #2 about alcohol supposedly killing brain-cells.
-And at the end of the day, I think I might be willing to join Jonah Lehrer, pick my poison & take my chance on a few brain-cells even if Daniel Amen Is right; just for the sake of playing the odds.
-Because following the stats, I’m much more likely to die of heart-disease than brain-death.
(hopefully, I won’t need Joan Acocella’s Hangover-Opus afterward.)
Hit up the links for the well-argued details over at Substance.com and the others. To your health!:
“untitled”, by Flickr user, daspunkt
Carling Black Label Beer Ad, c1955 via Flickr user, alsis35
The Most Interesting Man In The World, On Bromances, by Dos Equis
• Source: Substance-Stanton Peele
• via: Gothamist
• More Coverage: Wired | Alcoholism-Everyone Lives Longer Than Abstainers