Alcohol in Moderation: Not So Good, Maybe

Mod­er­ate alco­hol intake has long been lauded as an ingredi­ent of the healthy life­style; being good for your heart and your longev­ity.

Accord­ing to a grow­ing num­ber of vocal psy­cho­lo­gists, how­ever, stud­ies show­ing health bene­fits from mod­er­ate alco­hol con­sump­tion are purely cor­rel­at­ory and any advice com­ing from them should be taken with cau­tion.

From an epi­demi­olo­gist at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion:

The bot­tom line is there has not been a single study done on mod­er­ate alco­hol con­sump­tion and mor­tal­ity out­comes that is a ‘gold stand­ard’ kind of study — the kind of ran­dom­ized con­trolled clin­ic­al tri­al that we would be required to have in order to approve a new phar­ma­ceut­ic­al agent in this coun­try.

[Mod­er­ate drink­ers and abstain­ers] are so dif­fer­ent that they simply can­not be com­pared. Mod­er­ate drink­ers are health­i­er, wealth­i­er and more edu­cated, and they get bet­ter health care, even though they are more likely to smoke. They are even more likely to have all of their teeth, a mark­er of well-being.

In fact, even the ori­gin­al research­er whose “land­mark study [found] that mem­bers of the Kais­er Per­man­ente health care plan who drank in mod­er­a­tion were less likely to be hos­pit­al­ized for heart attacks than abstain­ers” has since dis­covered that even mod­er­ate alco­hol con­sump­tion may increase hyper­ten­sion.