Alcohol is Good for Health

by David J. Hanson, Ph. D.

Medical journalist Robert Kowalski points out that throughout history physicians have prescribed alcohol for its health benefits. They practiced without the benefit of science. However, “today, we have the scientific proof that drinking in moderation is actually good for most people.” He explains that

“In most cases, one can find research studies that back up one side of an issue and other reports in defense of the opposite. ... Rarely do investigators come to the same conclusion in study after study, with little or no equivocation. But that’s the situation with alcohol and heart health.

“Data have come in from all over the world. Studies have focused on both men and women, various age groups, and people of many ethnic groups. The conclusion remains the same: those who drink moderately live longer and have less risk of developing heart disease than those who abstain from alcohol. Published papers now total in the many hundreds.

“Still, some naysayers had their doubts. Perhaps the teetotalers previously drank excessively and had undermined their health, thus explaining their high levels of risk. In response, later studies excluded all but those who had avoided alcohol for their entire lives. The conclusion remained the same: alcohol confers protection against CHD (cardiovascular heart disease), and drinkers live longer than nondrinkers.” 1

As well known medical authority Dean Edell, M.D., asserts that “you would have to be living on another planet not to know that alcohol -- in moderation -- is good for your health.” 2

But which alcoholic beverage is the best choice? Dr. Edell explains that there are “differences of opinion about whether beer, wine, or liquor offers the quickest route to a longer life. Of ten major studies, one-third found this true for wine, one-third for beer, and one-third for liquor. Most researchers now believe that it is the alcohol in all of them that provides the magic, but they don’t rule out other components of alcoholic beverages.” 3

Of course, drinking alcohol is contraindicated for some people such as alcoholics, pregnant women, and those whose physician has recommended abstinence.

 

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