WHAT TO DRINK ON THE NEW YEAR 2019: ALCOHOLIC DRINKS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF SCIENCE

Drinking a small amount of alcohol (one serving per day for women and two servings for men) seems to be associated with a reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease and a longer life expectancy. But in the New Year, people, as a rule, are not limited to the recommended doses, exceeding them several times. This search for the most useful alcoholic beverage can be completed: they all become potentially dangerous with every extra glass. Yes, and even the red wine “treated” by researchers .

HOW TO CHECK THE BENEFITS AND HARM OF ALCOHOL?

The best way to study the effects of alcohol use would be a randomized controlled trial in which one randomly selected group of people would drink two glasses of wine a day for many decades and the other would receive a placebo drink. But scientists will probably never be able to hold it. On the one hand, it is unethical to force test subjects to drink every day (alcohol is addictive); on the other hand, it would be difficult to verify whether participants followed the regimen for a long period of time.

Instead, researchers are forced to extract evidence of lower quality. For example, they conduct short-term studies studying the effect of alcohol on the physiology of people (say, on the level of lipids in the blood ). But the problem is that they do not give much information about long-term results (for example, about heart disease): at best, these will be very generalized predictions.

Also, scientists can conduct observational studies where the health status of drinking people is compared with the indigestion indicators. The problem is that these groups of people can have significant differences in lifestyle in addition to their drinking habits. For example, wine drinkers may have more money and generally take better care of their health than beer lovers. This does not mean that existing research does not make sense, but blindly trusting the news about the benefits of red wine is also not worth it. Conclusion: it does not matter what you drink in the New Year 2019. The main thing is to avoid alcohol intoxication.

DRINKING IN MODERATION IS GOOD? Apparently, it is. Researchers believe that for healthy adults, one or two drinks per day can be helpful. This is what can be considered a portion from the point of view of the Diet Guide for Americans .

In short-term studies, scientists were able to confirm that alcohol raises HDL cholesterol levels, reducing blood clotting. This mechanism can be called the biological basis of the link between alcohol consumption and lower rates of coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction . The results are quite significant, as heart disease is the first cause of death in the world. Nevertheless, they are merely observant, and in no case do not say that alcohol is the magic elixir of health. Moderate alcohol consumption may carry risks for some people. For women, for example, ANY amount of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer . Conclusion: choosing a celebratory drink in the New Year 2019, be guided not by controversial research, but by common sense and the state of your health.

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