The Baptist Conspiracy Against Alcohol Finally Revealed!:
One of the more difficult parts of becoming a health nut is changing the things you used to like in your diet.
This might be easy when you considered the Cap’n Crunch, Pancake, OJ carb-splosion you used to engage in as a kid.
But the more you whittle things down, the more disappointing it seems to get.
This was particularly difficult for me when I found out how dangerous eating dark chocolate can really be.
We’re going to have to pour another one out for an old friend on this one.
Because where I was sure Mormons perpetrated this idea first, apparently a squad of Wake Forest Baptists is out to convince you to give up alcohol…
The Short Answer:
- Sometimes getting healthier requires changes that are hard to make.
- It looks like that may be true of alcohol now, too.
- We already know alcohol is neurotoxic.
- The only drink that isn’t is red wine that has resveratrol in it.
- Wake Forest U. tested the effects of alcohol on the brains of mice for 10 weeks.
- They found that drinking caused the brain to shrink.
- It increased the number of Alzheimer’s Beta-Amyloid plaque formations.
- The total amount of Beta-Amyloid in the brain also went up.
- Alcohol consumption was also found to interfere with metabolism in the brain & body.
- The high blood-sugar and insulin-resistance from this also causes problems like diabetes & cardiovascular disease.
- If you want to live a long & healthy life these results should be heeded.
- Especially since 33% of people over 85 have some form of Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- However, there is a chance the WF team understated what they considered “moderate” drinking.
- They did not report the human equivalent of drinks/day in their PR or study.
- There is also a Danish study that found low-dose alcohol actually helps your brain clear out the plaques & materials associated with the disease.
- So if my calculations on Wake Forest’s numbers are right, there may be some hope left for the ideas from the Danish study after-all.
Read on to find out the details…
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That being said, there’s probably no stopping the global might of the “liquid courage” juggernaut.
We’ve already been informed by researchers that except for red wine like Malbec or Shiraz with resveratrol in it, alcohol is neurotoxic.
So that’s already one strike against it in our view today.
But the current worldwide sales of all drinks was valued at about 2.2 Trillion Dollars in 2022.
So sharing this news is not goimg to go down well with most of the world.
But in the spirit of stick-to-it-iveness, let’s get to the depressing study.
For 10 weeks, a Wake Forest team gave mice different amounts of alcohol to drink as part of their daily diets.
This also included levels that would be considered moderate amounts, even if they were translated to human figures.
[Update: So the terminology goes in the PR & study, but it might actually be higher. See the UPDATE section at the end.]
The team then looked at how this consumption changed behavior and brain function.
Most importantly after those tests were done, the researchers examined what effect the change in diet would have on the key markers for Alzheimer’s.
The ones they chose as their benchmarks were Beta-Amyloid plqques.
What the study revealed was the following:
1) Alcohol consumption made the brain shrink
2) It caused an increased number of amyloid plaques
3) It increased the number of small plaque formations
Number 3 on that list may raise the possibility that more plaques will form in the future as well.
Also quite weirdly, the removal of alcohol from the mice’s diet seemed to increase the total amount of amyloid-beta proteins in the brain, too.
How you get more plaques from drinking, and then more plaque-supplies once you stop is beyond me.
NO, I do not think the solution to that is to just keep drinking, or to drink even more!
A second part of the results also showed that long-term exposure to alcohol also screwed up metabolism.
This occurred in both the brain and the rest of the body.
One of the team members previously found that high blood-sugar can increase both the raw materials of the formations and also the plaques themselves.
To compound that, his team found in the current work that drinking alcohol results in high blood-sugar and insulin-resistance.
This increases the risks for:
2) Type 2 Diabetes
3) Cardiovascular Disease
So all of that is kind-of a huge bummer depending on how much you love your appletinis.
And there are still many theories out there as to why & how people come down with any form of Dementia in the first place.
Some studies say it’s gingivitis or herpes simplex 2 and a lack of oral hygiene & flossing.
Others say it’s related to picking your nose and getting weird microbes into the “danger triangle” on your head.
Still others say it’s related to not enough natural light in the morning, too much blue light from screens at night, and the bad sleep that results.
This last angle may have some legs, as there is no way to tell if the mice in the study were getting the required amount & quality of sleep during the study.
(Because it screws up your sleep-cycle, especially after a certain hour of the day, I personally am going with the guess that the mice didn’t sleep well at all.)
But the sad truth is, the WF team observed what they did.
And until we’re told otherwise, it looks like Beta-Amyloid and the plaques that it forms are one of the main markers of the disease, along with Tau proteins.
Furthermore, the rate of Dementia-like diseases for people over the age of 85 is 33%!
Who knows how much cardio and weights those people are doing, and what their diets look like.
But it may not be sufficient just to eat well and exercise.
If you want to live a long, healthy life and continue to have all your marbles at an advanced age,
You may have to just cut out alcohol. :(
Now just as one little salve to soothe that burn, there is at least one other study out there on alcohol’s effect on the brain.
It was done by a Danish team and it suggests that low-dose alcohol somehow helps the brain’s cleaning system work better.
-The same cleaning system that clears out all the crap that seems to cause the disease.
That post is REALLY worth a read, because it goes over all the details and pitfalls to the theory.
The long and short of which is, “If you don’t have perfect discipline and stop at the EU limits or lower, you will hurt instead of help.”
So be honest with yourself if you think about trying that avenue.
Anyway, just another point-of-view on the subject and who knows if the Danes have changed their minds by now.
Either way, it’s probably wiser to play it safe and reduce your risk of that 33% number.
Sad to see you go old friend, we’ll miss you!
I don’t want to sharp-shoot professional scientists, and there is a fair chance my math could be wrong.
That being said, Figure 1/Graph b in the study shows during the experiment “open bar” week for the mice that their cumulative intake of 40-proof “rodent vodka” was about 7.5g/kg for those 7 days.
That equals about 1-ish g/kg each day, with each standard “drink” having about 14 grams of ethanol.
If we take the blood-alcohol levels from this chart over here,
That means for a woman of average weight in 2005, it would equate to 5.2 drinks/day, and for a man it would be about 6.1.
So just in case I haven’t screwed up my math, there may be a teeny-tiny chance that U.Copenhagen’s study on low-dose alcohol does have some legs to it.
Although the more you hear about it these days, the more risks alcohol consumption seems to have…
• Source: WakeForest
• More Coverage: Standard Drink Equivalents | Figure 1 from the study
• Source Study:
NeuroBioDis – Ethanol exposure alters Alzheimer’s-related pathology, behavior, and metabolism in APP/PS1 mice