Alcohol Addiction Fighting NEW

By pjain      Published July 12, 2020, 7:31 p.m. in blog Health   

Alcohol 101

--XFR--- RCTs interpretation

Problem of observational studies - not causation

But observational studies can show only correlations, not causation.

Wealth, Education KEY factors

Eg when you look under the hood, you find 27/30 risk factors for heart disease were MUCH lower in non-drinkers - independently of actual drinking. In other words the observational studies can stumble on WHAT is the underlying vs correlational.

One major confounding factor is that socioeconomic status is a strong predictor of health and life span — and it tracks closely with drinking levels. Studies show that compared to heavy drinkers and abstainers, people who drink moderately tend to be wealthier and have higher levels of education. They tend to have better health care, exercise more, eat healthier diets, and have less obesity. ..

Self selection bias, Historical confounding factors

  • Self selection bias is severe

In some large alcohol studies, people categorized as “nondrinkers” may actually be former heavy drinkers, Non-drinkers may have health issues that cause them not to imbibe e.g. severe heart disease patients on warfarin or blood thinners use may ban alcohol.

Is it Healthy? No more health halo around moderate drinking!

What is ONE drink?

Government agencies have also long defined a standard drink as below however these amounts often exceeded in Americans’ typical “drink.” - 12 ounces of regular beer, - five ounces of wine, - one and a half ounces of distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol),

FDA, Ag Agency, HHS - all politically biased - very slow to adjust to real science

  • Censorship by agencies
  • FDA, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services supervise and control the official dietary guidelines.

Global consensus - Drinking NOT healthy

  • Britain, Australia, France and other developed countries have all recently issued new guidelines lowering their recommended limits on daily and weekly alcohol intake stating recent evidence suggests consuming less alcohol is safer and that even one drink a day increases cancer risk.

2020 NOT healthy: Drink less - limit to 1/day for both men/women

The new recommendation would be a victory for experts who have long questioned the health halo around moderate drinking. They say that studies showing it can protect health are deeply flawed, and that any potential cardiovascular benefits would be outweighed by the fact that alcohol is a leading preventable cause of cancer.

Do not drink because you think it will make you healthier, the committee says: It won’t. And it maintains that drinking less is generally better for health than drinking more. The committee said in a recent conference call that it plans to recommend that men and women who drink limit themselves to a single serving of wine, beer or liquor per day. - 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

ANY Drinking boosts cancer - 2015+

According to the National Cancer Institute, even one drink a day increases the risk of breast, esophageal and oral cancer. - National Cancer Institute

This declaration was hailed by Thomas Gremillion, the director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America, a public interest group that has pushed for cancer warnings on alcohol.

"Moderate Good" - Past Observational studies discredited

  1. Why non-drinkers. Studies have found that of physical disabilities, psychiatric problems and pre-existing illnesses. When detailed studies take these factors into account, they find that the protective effect of moderate drinking disappears.

  2. Genetic sensitivity. In fact, some people carry a genetic variant that disrupts their ability to metabolize alcohol, causing them to develop skin flushing, irritation and other unpleasant symptoms when they drink alcohol. As a result, they tend to abstain or drink very little. If alcohol was good for heart health, these people should in theory have more heart disease compared to others. Instead, as one large analysis published in BMJ in 2014 found, they have "a more favorable cardiovascular profile and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease than those without the genetic variant. .. This suggests that reduction of alcohol consumption, even for light to moderate drinkers, is beneficial for cardiovascular health.”

  3. Other societies like bulk of Asian Indians and Muslims traditionally prohibit drinking, but they also consume heavy carb diets, leading to hyper-insulin and heart attacks. This can distort and in large studies show a benefit of drinks.

  4. nondrinkers have higher rates of mental and pre-existing conditions 

  5. rigorous studies  - protective effect of moderate drinking disappears.


2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans mentioned that moderate drinking may even “help to keep cognitive function intact with age.”

1990- Discouraged Heavy drinking - moderate drinking fewer heart attacks, lower death

Between 1990 and 2010, many editions of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which are updated every five years, - Discouraged heavy drinking - Warned pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions not to drink. - But they also noted that moderate drinking was linked to fewer heart attacks and lower mortality.

1980 Moderate drinking = 2 drinks/day for men, 1/day for women

  • 1980 Dietary Guidelines

Mediterrean Diet - French puzzle - Drinking Red Wine is better for you!

J-curve - mortality benefit with "some" drinking 1970s-1995

  1. 1970 noticed that teetotalers seemed to have more heart attacks than people who drank moderately.

2. Large populations documented what is known as a J-shaped curve between alcohol and mortality from all causes, especially heart disease: Mortality rates dipped for moderate drinkers compared to nondrinkers and then climbed higher among people whose intake exceeded one or two drinks daily. - to 1990s many observational studies   - Review of alcohol and mortality studies  



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