Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ooooh, uh-no-uh-booz-oo

Dear Dr. Mirkin: Should I start drinking wine
to prevent a heart
attack?

Studies proclaiming the health benefits
of alcohol are
widely promoted by the wine, beer and alcoholic beverage
industries, but they have a major flaw. Researchers from the
University
of Victoria in British Columbia reviewed 54 studies and
found that only
seven corrected their non-drinking population for
people who had to stop
drinking for health reasons (Addiction
Research and Theory, April 2006).
When you do an epidemiological study to see if alcohol
prevents disease,
you compare people who drink and those who
do not drink. However, many
people do not drink because their
doctors have told them they have high
blood pressure, liver,
heart or kidney disease, alcoholism, stomach ulcers,
or other
major health problems. The Canadian researchers re-analyzed
47
studies that associated wine or other alcohol with a longer life
and
decreased risk for heart attacks. When the studies were
corrected to remove
the people who had been ordered to stop
drinking for health reasons, they
found no difference in death rate
between moderate drinkers and those who do
not drink at all. It
is probably safe to take up to two drinks a day, but be
skeptical of
studies that say alcohol will prolong your life.




courtesy of:
drmirkindotcom,baby!

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