The Latest on Alcohol

Monday Jul 31 | BY |
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Everybody knows that too much alcohol is bad for health.

But there’s this myth that “moderate” consumption is good for health, prevents deaths and extends life.

Two recent studies are destroying that myth.

1) Flaws in Previous Studies

An updated meta-analysis (which you can find here) found the problems with previous studies on alcohol, which claimed that moderate consumption was beneficial.

It appears that the reason why previous studies showed benefits in moderate consumption (vs. abstinence) is that many abstainers did so because of existing health problems.

So it appeared that the “abstainers” were less healthy than the moderate drinkers, but this was due to selection bias.

The conclusion is that there is no benefit in reducing heart disease risk with drinking moderately.

2) Alcohol bad for your brain

Another new study, this time published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, showed that even moderate alcohol consumption harms the brain.

We’ve known for a long time that excessive drinking damages the brain.

However, what’s new is the finding is that even moderate drinking affects your cognitive abilities negatively.

And what was “moderate” drinking, in this study? Those who drink about five glasses of wine per week or the equivalent. So we’re not talking about a lot of alcohol.

So what happened to those moderate drinkers?

Their brains showed a reduction in the volume of their hippocampi, an area associated with memory and learning.

Of course, the more you drink, the worse it gets.

But the unexpected finding is this: those who drank moderately were three times more likely to damage those brain structures that people who didn’t drink at all.

The conclusion is that any amount of alcohol is toxic. The dose makes the poison, but even what’s considered “benign” in our culture can take huge tolls on the body over time.

To your health,


Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

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