February 20, 2007

Just How Many Drinks A Day Is Bad?

Is a glass or two of wine a day good for you?  You would think this would be an easy question to answer, but it's not, and that's because of this:

How many glasses of wine are in a bottle?

If you answered 4-5, continue reading.  Because guess what?  Apparently the answer is eight. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, they are serious.  Unplug your monitor and ram it into your skull as hard as you can. 


 

"Doctors don't know.  They pretend to know.  Because they have a rectal thermometer in their pocket.  As if it were an appeal to a higher authority."-- Lewis Black 

It comes down to this: medicine doesn't have all the answers, but in presenting their recommendations it sounds like they do.  And we get confused.

"Two drinks a day."  What's a drink?  Are the health benefits/risks of whisky and wine identical?  Then why lump them together?  And if the answer is, "well, we don't know enough yet" then why are you making recommendations with the authority of medical certainty?

The reason wine's benefits/risks seem confusing is that no one emphasizes the size of a "drink."

A "drink" is often defined as 10g alcohol-- that's 1/8 of a bottle of wine. 

Many reference guides, in an attempt to make things simple to understand (if you're drunk, maybe) use 10g/drink as a standard. There are 750ml in a bottle of wine. If the bottle is 13% alcohol by volume, then there is 98ml alcohol per bottle. Alcohol's specific gravity is .79, so there are 77g alcohol in a bottle.   That means that there are 7-8 "drinks" in a bottle of wine, which, if I may editorialize, is so preposterous as to hardly merit comment. 

Similarly, for 5% beer, there is 0.05 x355ml x 0.79= so 14g per 12 oz can.  Is a beer a drink and a half?

Alcohol content varies greatly among wines and beers:

Also, each wine has a different alcohol content-- 12.5% is the typical French ideal, and most wines are built (i.e. alcohol osmotically removed) to stay under 14% because the tariff increases above that.   There is a leeway of 1.5% in the listing, so 12.5% could be 11% or 14%.  That's a 2 "drink"/bottle difference.

In the past few years, and especially with California wines, Syrahs, Zinfandels, places with hot climates, the trend has been towards using higher Brix (sugar content) grapes.  (Riper means more sugar, which means more alcohol.)  About 55% of the sugar ferments to alcohol, and the common 25 Brix grapes convert to a 13.75% wine.  Plus you lose some water in the wine making process, so it may be even higher than that (15%).

To complicate things further, each policy group advocates different safe drinking levels that are nearly incomprehensible to the layman, unless you convert them to some common measure (here, I convert to grams):  The U.S. government says no more than 2 drinks per day-- but that's 14g each.  France says no more than 5  per day-- but it's 12g each.  Britain says 3-4 "units"-- at 8g each!  Do the British know this?  A British study (in Scots) found that people generally pour out two, not one, unit per drink.  It's no wonder people are confused.

A better conversion is this: there is 77g alcohol in a 13% bottle of wine.  That's equivalent to  almost a six pack.  Go.

Blood Alcohol Content: as accurate as a New York Times poll, but you can still go to jail.

Converting to grams as a reference for drinking is useful because it allows you to predict your BAC.  Here is how everyone tells you to calculate it:  If you drink 40g alcohol and weigh 70kg, your BAC will be .05% (40g/70000g).  Or, if you weigh 70kg, every 14g beer will raise your BAC by .02%  Or, every 1/4 bottle of wine raises the level .035%.  Isn't math fun?  I have seen countless "reference tables" using this method.

But the units of BAC are g alcohol/100ml water.  You're not all warer, are you?  You're about... 60% water?  So that 40g alcohol in really in 70kg x .6= 42kg water.  40g alcohol/42000ml water= .09%.  Congrats.  You're drunk.  Sort of.

In practice, those reference tables telling you your estimated BAC already incorporate the Widmark constant-- the percentage body water. It can range from 40-85% water.  The more water you have, the lower will be your BAC.  Women have less water, so their conversion runs lower (40-50%).  Muscle= more water; fat=less water. The problem, obviously, is while BAC calculations use a standard-- for example, my .6, above-- individuals can vary greatly.  Hence, lawyers.

But wait: Breathalyzers. It's measuring the alcohol content of your breath, not blood.  What's the ratio of alcohol in breath to blood?  2400:1?  2100:1?  Generally, breathayzers are calibrated to underread your alcohol level, by about 10%.  So even though most humans run 2400:1, it is calibrated at 2100:1.  But don't try to argue "individual variability" of a breathalyzer in court: 2100:1 is part of the statute, and thus your reading is your sentence.   But remember, liquid to gas transitions are described by Henry's coefficient: heating a substance (e.g. alcohol) puts more in the air (breath); cooling the air (breath) makes the substance stay in liquid (blood).  So before you blow into the machine, hyperventilate and roll in the snow.

The point here is that you-- and guidelines-- cannot predict your BAC based on how many "drinks" you had, because there are so many confounding variables. 

Note that BAC doesn't tell you how drunk you are-- tolerance might mean you're an effective Lisp programmer at .1%, or you're beer goggling at .02%. At a given weight, higher percentage body fat= more drunk. Also, food delays absorption. Finally, some people metabolize alcohol faster than others; the old rule "a drink an hour" is based on the assumption that you metabolize 10g alcohol per hour (or your BAC falls by .01%/hr)-- but in you it may be 20g/hr (e.g. a daily drinker), or 5g/hr (e.g. young woman rarely drinks, on Tylenol) etc.

But legal driving limit is usually .08%.  And 50% of the time, .4% is death, so there's that.

Health Benefits of Wine?  Or No? 

So since the term "drink" is uselessly vague, in reviewing the literature on wine and beer's effects, I'll do my best to convert to grams of alcohol.  Just remember that a bottle of wine is 77g, and 12oz 5% beer is 14g. 

Cholesterol, triglycerides, coronary artery disease: about half a bottle of wine, but at least 20g/d, raises HDL,;decreases TG, CRP, fibrinogen, and decreases risk of CAD.

Generally, moderate alcohol consumption (say, 30-40g/d) is associated with decreases in mortality.  This is hypothesized to be related to a) its HDL raising effect; b) its reduction of pro-inflammatory proteins CRP and fibrinogen (i.e. it's anti-inflammatory.) 

One of the studies, in Nature,  that popularized "moderate consumption" was this: 40g/d (from beer) for men, 30g/d for women, reduced inflammatory markers C-reactive peptide (35%) and fibrinogen (12%),  increased HDL (10%), with no change in TG or liver enzymes.  after 3 weeks of drinking.   The study called this "four glasses" but a better way of understanding it is three beer cans or  half a bottle of wine.  Also: BAC 1 hour after drinks was 10mmol/l.  Yes, mmol.  Sigh.  46g/mol: BAL .046%

A prospective study confirmed the "well-known" relationship between alcohol consumption and HDL, which rose from 40 to 50 with >30g/d alcohol.

A German study of 7000+ people found HDL rose, and fibrinogen decreased,  for women who drank 10-20g/d and men >30g/d.

A Danish study found an interesting relationship: women who drank at least once per week had lower risk of CAD than abstainers; but drinking more often did not promote the effect.  But for men, daily drinking (more than less frequent drinking) was associated with the lowest risk. 

 

Oxidative Stress: doesn't ethanol cause lipid peroxidation (free radicals?) Answer:  you're not drinking ethanol, you're drinking wine--which probably increases antioxidant capacity. 

This is how you get plaques: free radicals in your diet (e.g. cooked fat) promote LDL oxidation, which goes on to promote arterial plaque formation.  Free radical scavengers, such as Vitamin E, would lessen this effect-- but are consequently reduced.  Importantly, the LDL from a meal is more susceptible to oxidation than normally circulating (fasting) LDL.

Alcohol promotes oxidation in test tubes.  So why wouldn't it do so in people?  For example, a careful study controlled for many confounding variables that are associated with high or low alcohol intake-- such as smoking, vitamins, exercise, etc-- and found that the more alcohol consumed, the higher the oxidized LDL, with no change in HDL.  Where did the protective effect go?  One possibility jumps to mind: median consumption was 6g/d; and the above studies found the relationship with the higher "doses."  And you need to be a regular drinker: 96 hours after a single dose of wine there was no effect on LDL. Surely I've made this up?  No: 300ml red wine (better than 300ml white wine) inhibited oxidation (e.g. LDL oxidation).  The likely explanation is that even though alcohol can cause oxidative stress, wine-- and it's constituents (polyphenols, resveratrol, etc) may overwhelm this effect.  But you have to drink enough (>300ml) so that it overwhelms alcohol's effects (but not so much your wife leaves you.)

Additionally, wine's beneficial effects in preventing oxidative stress may be enhanced when you have more oxidative stress to begin with.  Take the easy case of eating a fatty meal.  The LDLs that result from this meal are  more likely to be oxidized than the normal  fasting LDLs  in circulation.  Drinking 400ml of wine with a meal made these post-meal LDLs more resistant to oxidation than even the existing LDL, and maintained the Vitamin E levels.  And in case you're a rat, in rats who were force fed a high cholesterol diet, wine reduced the cholesterol levels and improved antioxidant parameters. 

Not just meal related oxidative stress: 1/3 bottle of red wine a day for two months in people who just had angioplasty substantially increased antioxidant reactivity and decreased oxidative damage.  There is a logic to this: the lower your CRP, the better is your natural antioxidant capacity, and wine lowers CRP proportionally more if it is already high.  A glass of wine (or one espresso- how do you like that!)  was equivalent to an orange or 200g spinach in antioxidant capacity.

 

Homocysteine (which causes coronary plaques)?   Maybe it goes up a little, but that might not matter, especially if you're drinking wine.

42 men got to drink half a bottle of WHITE wine a day for a month: lower oxidation products (and coincident increase in free radical scavengers and HDL), but also increased homocysteine. 

A prospective study found that after 6 weeks of 30g/day of wine/beer/spirits, homocysteine levels were higher than in controls.  Folate levels were also lower (except in beer-- because beer has about 30ug folate/beer and0.1ug vitamin B6/beer.)  Folate and B12 are cofactors in the conversion (methylation) of homocysteine which is then broken down (sulphyrated) with vitamin B6 as a cofactor; so low folate/B12= high homocysteine.  Similarly, in chronic alcoholics homocysteine was much higher-- but less so with beer.

And again, but with 40g/d drinking wine and spirits for three weeks, homocysteine went up 9%.  Beer had no effect.  But B6 went up with all drinks (more with beer).  Not only does B6 facilitate homocysteine degradation, it is also an independent inverse risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

But perhaps amounts are relevant: in another prospective study, 1/2 bottle/d of red wine for two weeks had no effect on homocysteine, while doing the expected increase of HDL and antioxidant capacity. 

A study using pig coronary arteries found that while homcysteine impaired endothelial cell relaxation, red wine negated this adverse effect. 

It appears that homocysteine goes up, but that doesn't translate to any increased cardiovascular risk because of some beneficial effects of the wine, which may include B6, antioxidants, increased HDL and increased antioxidant capacity.

Blood Pressure?  Answer: No serious effect below a bottle of wine a day. 

German study (above) finds <80g/d associated with <2 mmHg increase; >80g/d associated with  4-6mm Hg increases.  American Idol makes mine go up more.

Much of the negative data on blood pressure is perplexingly inaccurate. By "perpelxingly" I mean that the errors could not have simply been oversights, could they?  People are lumped together, as are quantities and types of alcohol, giving misleading results.  For example, in an article entitled, "Alcohol is Bad For Blood Pressure"-- seriously, that's the title of the scientific article-- the authors state:

Since then, large-scale prospective studies from Japan (6) and the US(7) have indicated that the risk of hypertension increases twofold with alcohol intake of 30–50 g/day or more. 

Hmm.  "Increases twofold."  I'm not sure what article they read, but reference 7 pretty clearly says the opposite:

Our principal finding was the association between the consumption of low to moderate amounts of ethanol (up to 3 drinks per day) and either the incidence of hypertension or increase in blood pressure levels in blacks. In white men, there was no evidence of an increase in systolic or diastolic blood pressure over time at this level of consumption. Similarly, for most beverages, a low to moderate intake of alcohol was not associated with a higher incidence of hypertension in white men and with an increased incidence in black men.

And later:

the observation that low amounts of alcohol intake may not increase blood pressure in most race-gender strata could lead to a more tolerant view of the consumption of alcohol in small amounts...

Black men who drank heavily had double the incidence of hypertension (defined as a jump to > 140/90): 15% vs. to 30% in drinkers.  But I should add that the risk was relevant only in black men who drank beer or spirits; only 8 out of 250+ drank any wine at all.

Thus, blood pressure is minimally affected by wine, and even beer or spirits, if other variables are controlled.  There is a negative effect of beer and spirits in blacks that needs to be explored, as does the effect of wine in blacks. 

 

Pancreatitic disease: How many drinks before you're in trouble? Answer: >30% of your daily calories from alcohol if you poor nutrition; or  >1 bottle wine/day for 25 years, especially if you eat like a pig.   Smoking=death.  (But you knew that.)

You'd be amazed at how hard this simple question was to answer.

As an aside, almost every study done in 2005-2007 on alcohol and pancreatic disease was done in Japan or China.  I'm sure there's a reason for this, but for the life of me I can't tell you what it is.  And if someone is able to explain to me how the Japanese and Chinese physiologies are generalizable to everyone, I'd like to hear it; but that's what happens.

The main problem with the studies is that risks of pancreatitis are associated with an arbitrary cut off that does not reflect the actual toxicity of alcohol.  For example, a study found that >2 drinks/d, compared to <2 drinks/d, was significantly associated with pancreatic necrosis.  So we're all going to die? The problem is that this association was either/or, not calibrated to amount.  For example, what if those who had the necrosis all drank more than 10drinks/d?  It would still be true that the risk was higher at >2 drinks/d.  So why 2/d as the cutoff? "The cutoff of two drinks per day was selected based on animal studies which have shown that the equivalent consumption of two drinks per day in rats results in measurable change in pancreatic histology and physiology(13)."  So, of course, I looked up (13): in rats who received 12%, and worse with 36% of their calories from alcohol increased pancreatic protein hypersecretion, starting the road to pancreatitis.  If you eat 2000 calories a day, then this would be equivalent to a little more than 1 bottle of wine/d.

A Japanese study found that the traditional rates of pancreatitis among alcoholics-- 2-5%-- may be low: they find that  9-17% of people who drank >150g alcohol/d developed alcoholic pancreatitis.  The alcoholic pancreatitis patients began drinking at a younger age (18), drank for 20 years) and drank 180g/d alcohol.  Additionally, they cite other studies where meat and lipid may be co-factors.

An interesting study found the risk of acute pancreatitis may be increased in the first day of withdrawal of drinking; these drinkers had drank an average of 700g/week (400-900g), and 3600/two months.  Alcohol suppresses inflammation, so this may be a rebound inflammatory response.

A Chinese study found that smoking, high meat and heavy drinking was associated with pancreatic cancer.  Heavy drinking was ">20 cup-years;" basically, 11g/d for 20 years, or 22 g/d for 10 years, etc.  The article did not address the hihger rates od ALDH2*2 allele of aldehyde dehydrogenase in the Chinese, which slows the metabolism of aldehyde (and allows it to build up-- see below.)

Another Japanese study (come on) found risk increased 10 fold for >100g/d, and >30 years of drinking.

Alcohol alone is not a risk factor for pancreatic ductal adenocarcimona, which is most closely associated with smoking.  Alcohol may indice pancreatitis and diabetes, which are themselves risk factors.  Also, acetaldehyde, an intermediary metabolite of alcohol which is ordinarily quickly metabolized to acetic acid, is procarcinogenic;  heavy drinkers with cancer, vs. alcoholics without cancer, had higher salivary aldehyde levels due to fast metabolism of alcohol to aldehyde. (I SPECULATE that binge drinking, and frequent exposure to acetaldehyde (read: hangovers) is more dangerous than low but daily drinking.)

Finally, you should know that many studies describing the risks of alcohol are not able to control well for smoking, which is a major risk factor.  Consider that 60% of chronic pancreatitis cases are smokers; but 80% of alcoholic chronic pancreatitis cases are smokers. And high BMI is a risk.

Diet and alcohol: in animal models of alcohol induced pancreatic disease, & calories due to alcohol is the measure.  For example, one mouse model uses 24%, and the mice had BAL 100mM (.46%). Most animal modesl use about 30%.  One study disputed the high protein/high fat risk of pancreatitis by finding that humans with pancreatic or liver disease took 50% of their calories as alcohol, and the worst cases had the highest percentage intake. A study in Mexico found high overall caloric intake (4110 vs. 2250 in healthy controls)  was the risk factor, but dividing the average daily alcohol (124g=868 cal) by calories (4110) gives you 21% calories from alcohol.

The type of alcohol here is not described. Was it red wine?  Vodka?  Beer?  You decide.

So there are two prongs: high caloric intake, especially from fats and protein, and consequent high BMI, along with alcohol (>100g/d, conservatively;) or poor nutritional intake with higher proportion of alcohol calories (>30%).  With both, smoking is a profound risk factor, especially for cancer.

Stop smoking. 

 

Resveratrol: 

Resveratrol (a type of estrogen (DES)) is a polyphenol contained in wine (and fruits, grapes, etc.,)  that is itself anti-inflammatory and antithrombogenic (it's a COX1-- COX2?-- inhibitor), as well as possibly being neuroprotective. It probably is an anti-flu drug. It can possibly prolong life span through SIRT1 (which is how calorie restriction prolongs life.)    Resveratrol is one possible explanation for why the French can eat fried butter sandwiches with a bottle of wine and still tell their grandkids about it.

There is no accepted dose.  A bottle of red contains about 1mg, unless you're drinking muscadine wine (Florida grapes, some ports, etc.) It appears to have no toxicities.

I bring it up here only to tell you that as much as I think resveratrol is super and all, it oxidizes very quickly after the bottle is opened.  So drink fast.

Calories:

There are 7 calories/gram alcohol.  So each bottle of wine has about 550 calories.  Each light beer is 110 calories.  There are about 50 calories in a shot of whisky.

Summary And Conclusions: 

Disclaimer: I'm not recommending anything to anyone, I'm not your doctor, results may vary, substantial penalty for early withdrawal (HA!).  Don't drink if you have GI disease.  Or if you drive.  Or if you're on medications.  Or if you're an idiot.  Especially if you're an idiot.

But it appears to me that 30-40g (1/3- 1/2 bottle) of wine alcohol a day is fine.  Enjoy it.  (Unfortunately, I'm a whisky guy.)  It seems to work best if you drink it with food.  Everyone else should just mellow the hell out.  This unprioritized rigidity, this obsession, with "health" and "prevention" is idiotic and counterproductive.  Today I cooked my family bacon and eggs.  BACON.  Take that, AMA's beliefs.

Some caveats:  most of the association studies, above, do their best to control for confounding factors, but sometimes this is impossible.  As a basic generalization, the person who drinks 1/2 bottle wine with dinner is likely to have a very different life than one who drinks 4 beers/day after work, notwithstanding the obvious confounding variable of alcohol with/without food.  So it may be impossible to say that wine, itself, is what is beneficial.

Despite this-- and why this is relevant to a psychiatry blog-- the error is to assume that one is "the type of person who drinks wine, and so would have lower risks" vs. "the type of person who drinks beers, and so would have higher risks."   It may be more accurate to consider that if one chooses to become the person who drinks wine with dinner instead of beer after work, a variety of other factors may also change.  As a simple example: beer at a bar is conducive to smoking, wine at home isn't.  Beer after work every day may be sabotaging your family life; a choice to switch to wine at dinner may improve things at home.  &c., &c.

This is important.  It is the thesis of this blog: nothing matters more than your will.  Even if wine and beer are themselves of no consequence to one's health, the lifestyle that follows with the conscious choice to drink either one is of consequence.  Every choice you make influences your identity, and not the other way around; the sooner you accept this, the sooner you can become the person you want to be. You get to pick who you are.  Go pick. 

 

(State laws prevent me from receiving donations of wine (or whisky.)  My drink is Balvenie 15 year.  It's about $65. Just saying.)

See also: Is This The Real Secret of Wine's Health Benefits?




Comments

Wine gies me a headahe so I... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2007 6:52 AM | Posted by Randall Sexton: | Reply

Wine gies me a headahe so I would luke to know if if I can subetute Jack Daniels for butter health/?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (14 votes cast)
Oh, you haven't been listen... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2007 9:03 AM | Posted by dinah: | Reply

Oh, you haven't been listening or reading?? We talked about you extensively on podcast #10, on the psychopathology of the children of psychiatrists. You don't need an IPod. And you're linked to on our Show Notes.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (3 votes cast)
Have you seen thincs.org? ... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 10:30 AM | Posted by Gladys Pips: | Reply

Have you seen thincs.org? I am utterly convinced that cholesterol is wildly misunderstood. Dietary link: the Masai eat only blood, milk and meat from their cattle and have record low cholesterol. Mortality link: graph autopsy blood serum cholesterol vs. age of death and you see no trend whatsoever.

I'm beginning to wonder about oxidation and free radicals also.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Your ability to "do maths" ... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 10:42 AM | Posted by Will Partington: | Reply

Your ability to "do maths" is a bit crap really. I suggest you learn more about how alcohol is manufactured and measured as well as recorded, for example, last night I drank a bottle of 12.5% wine. It does not legally have to be exactly 12.5% alcohol, nor will it of been, but you have covered this.

It will however be an honest and earnest attempt to reach 12.5% as accurately as possible within obvious reasoning. And so yes, 12.5% of 750 is in fact 97.5. However this is not what you stated, you stated that 12.5% of 750ml was in fact 98grams. Alcohol content is meaured in %abv, abv stands for alcohol by volume.The density of ethanol is generally considered to be around 0.785gms/ml around 21.5% of a variance on your measurement. and so we come to the conclusion that no, there is not anywhere close to ten "drinks" in a standard 750ml bottle of wine, there is in fact around 7, perhaps 8 at a push. You have also not cited any references for your claims of definitions of drinks and a normal bottle sizes as well as an average abv of wine.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -21 (33 votes cast)
I stand corrected.... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 11:54 AM | Posted by Admin: | Reply

I stand corrected.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (6 votes cast)
Great post! I've often been... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 12:47 PM | Posted by Confabulist: | Reply

Great post! I've often been curious about a lot of the statistics I see bandied about regarding wine and health. This survey of some of the issues is most informative.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (6 votes cast)
Hi. Mea culpa.In ... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 2:04 PM | Posted by Admin: | Reply

Hi. Mea culpa.

In the first posting of this article, I neglected the specific gravity of alcohol-- 0.79-- and thus calculated alcohol amounts that were too high. Lots of people pointed this out, so I have corrected it. Sorry. So it's 8 glasses wine per 13% bottle (77g).

However, and this speaks to my larger point-- using terms like "glasses" and "drinks" is confusing. Grams is better. So 30-40g red wine alcohol/day may be beneficial and does not appear to be detrimental. I stand by that. Until my brain shrinks.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (10 votes cast)
Try the Balvenie Portwood. ... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 4:11 PM | Posted by rob: | Reply

Try the Balvenie Portwood. Even better. Mind you it costs a bit more too!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
I have a request, how about... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 4:39 PM | Posted by rufus t, firefly: | Reply

I have a request, how about a similiar article on cannabis?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (7 votes cast)
You don't mention long term... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2007 6:12 PM | Posted by Ero: | Reply

You don't mention long term neurological effects. 1/2 a bottle of whine a day would kill some brain cells, no?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -5 (7 votes cast)
what a waste of time...how ... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2007 12:11 AM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

what a waste of time...how about just not drinking?

losers

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -57 (61 votes cast)
Another part of the equatio... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2007 9:26 AM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

Another part of the equation:
mass of the drinker, percent body fat, time of last food intake, hydration and if mixing drinks with drinks of water... just to name a few of the many parameters that can contribute to the benefits of moderate drinking (whatever THAT means!)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
You're amazing misuse of gr... (Below threshold)

February 28, 2007 2:27 AM | Posted by Diggz: | Reply

You're amazing misuse of grammer, spelings and punk'chu'ation seveerly killz you're point.

Learn howdu right.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -21 (33 votes cast)
Balvenie Portwood... who da... (Below threshold)

February 28, 2007 4:03 PM | Posted by Admin: | Reply

Balvenie Portwood... who dares approach?

And as a defense, it's not my spelling that's bad, it's my typing. Three fingers and a thumb. Seriously.

As for grammar, I assume you mean the title-- which is grammatically correct.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (6 votes cast)
my liver hurts.... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2007 7:05 PM | Posted by slydawwg: | Reply

my liver hurts.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Well, fuck me.I ne... (Below threshold)

July 2, 2007 11:25 AM | Posted by John: | Reply

Well, fuck me.

I need a drink.

:-)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (12 votes cast)
Great write up. We just ne... (Below threshold)

August 11, 2007 8:21 AM | Posted by ZaffDaddy: | Reply

Great write up. We just need to remember that if ones drinking escalates to the point it is interfering with their families, work, or other life components - it's time to stop - no matter what the possible benefit is!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (8 votes cast)
Is there a study out there ... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2007 12:01 AM | Posted by Randy: | Reply

Is there a study out there that determines the effects of a bottle of red per day? Is 77g going to hurt me? I enjoy a bottle of malbec over the course of most evenings.

Alone's response: I'm with you... My perception is that 1/2 per day is healthy. 1 bottle per day is probably ecessive, but-- and this is the important part-- I can't tell you, rigorously, why 1 bottle/day is bad. (Leaving aside the possibility of "addiction" and focusing only on the direct effects of alcohol. I can also say that as your body handles alcohol calories differently, you're pretty likely to get under the muscle belly fat.

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Here is a website with brai... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2007 1:54 PM | Posted by Patrick Hayes: | Reply

Here is a website with brain SPECT images of drug abusers, including alcoholics.

http://www.amenclinic.org/bp/atlas/ch15.php

What exactly does it mean? I don't entirely know. But it doesn't look good for those who regularly overindulge. According to the website the patterns in the scans correlate with anger problems, lack of impulse control, and other symptoms that alcoholics have.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (3 votes cast)
On the other hand, this Sci... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2007 2:07 PM | Posted by Patrick Hayes: | Reply

On the other hand, this Scientific American article says a little bit is good for your memory.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleId=439863EB-E7F2-99DF-3FE0A7665EBFA7A3&chanId=sa013&modsrc=most_popular

But too much and it will turn out bad for you and your brain.

I have heard of things like "anti alcohol antioxidants", including cysteine and glutathione, along with some vitamins. Here is one such product: http://www.lef.org/newshop/items/item00205.html

What do you think of products like this Dr. Last Psychiatrist?

By the way, another article on the Scientific American website claims that resveratrol is not in sufficient quantities in wine to be the answer to the "French Paradox", but the tannins in some French wines may be the answer.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=356161C7-E7F2-99DF-3CD9171A34A9BC3F&sc=I100322

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (5 votes cast)
how many drink does a acoho... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2008 7:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

how many drink does a acoholic dring each day

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (3 votes cast)
If you know you drinking an... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2008 8:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If you know you drinking and dont care about it.... man you must be a real ASS!

-Erin Anne

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -12 (14 votes cast)
you're an idiot... (Below threshold)

July 24, 2008 2:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Diggz's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you're an idiot

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I am 43 years old and have ... (Below threshold)

August 20, 2008 4:22 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am 43 years old and have drank between a couple of glasses and not quite a bottle of wine near enough every day for the last 20 years, I have had bio chemical profiles done for around this time since 1989 and my results have been fine.
I like to think that I am less stressed and less prone to anxiety and blood pressure due to this, as I have a fairly demanding job.
It is interesting to look at your findings.

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gfjfyt... (Below threshold)

October 22, 2008 9:14 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

gfjfyt

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Everclear. 95% abv. If you'... (Below threshold)

November 19, 2008 9:20 PM | Posted by h2odragon: | Reply

Everclear. 95% abv. If you're gonna drink, why drink (and pay alcohol tax rates on) contaminants?


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what if you drink schnaaps ... (Below threshold)

March 22, 2009 12:49 PM | Posted by kristin: | Reply

what if you drink schnaaps and not wine or beer every day?

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If you are worrying about h... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2009 11:40 AM | Posted by Ben: | Reply

If you are worrying about how much you drink, you should probably stop drinking.

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Because some people have co... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2009 5:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Ben's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Because some people have completely unrealistic anxiety about everything (including drinking) and their life is affected by this more than by the drinking.

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Have fun at the church retr... (Below threshold)

July 24, 2009 12:24 AM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Have fun at the church retreat.

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man I am really drunk. just... (Below threshold)

November 24, 2009 2:30 PM | Posted by hickup: | Reply

man I am really drunk. just drank a bottle of beer

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I found your site on google... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Posted by Allen Ausband: | Reply

I found your site on google. I couldn't agree more. Weight loss isn't rocket science like some people would have you believe. It just takes some dedication and discipline. I will definately be back to check your site.

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It is the mark of a gentlem... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2010 4:11 PM | Posted by Meat Robot: | Reply

It is the mark of a gentleman to omit the "e" when spelling "whisky."

I always thought it was the Balvenie 17 in the port wood casks, not the 15. Do love my red whiskys, but I've a growing appreciation for peat, brine, and smoke.

Red wine is a delight, to be sure, but I could do without the low level histamine response that leaves me with itchy eyes and runny nose.

Has the AMA really got a position statement on bacon? What a delightful thought.

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Nice!Check out <a href="htt... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2010 9:30 PM | Posted by Six Pack: | Reply

Nice!Check out http://get-a-six-pack-abs.blogspot.com/

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I am a 35 year old female. ... (Below threshold)

February 24, 2010 2:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am a 35 year old female. I eat healthy, I try to watch my weight, and I also drink about 1/2 a bottle of red wine per night. One glass with dinner, one glass after dinner (on average one glass per hour) On the weekends the most I will have is about three glasses instead of my average two. I don't drink to get tipsy and I don't drink to get drunk, I just enjoy the taste of red wine. It is nice to read an article that doesn't say that I have an alcohol problem or that I am ruining my health. Even my doctor agrees that two glasses of wine a night is not excessive.

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This guy's one of the idiot... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Will Partington's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

This guy's one of the idiots. We shouldn't let him drink. He couldn't even read where you were stating that others were stating that a bottle of wine had 7-8 drinks. Where did he come up with 10 per bottle? In fact, what he did was arrive at the same conclusion that others are stating and that you're debunking.

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I love your summary in the ... (Below threshold)

April 22, 2010 6:56 AM | Posted, in reply to Admin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I love your summary in the last paragraph. So true.

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Could'nt have said it bette... (Below threshold)

July 23, 2010 7:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Ben's comment, by Jack: | Reply

Could'nt have said it better myself damn good point thank you but im still going to have a glass of wine tonight while I enjoy reading.

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I like the summary and brea... (Below threshold)

July 31, 2010 7:12 PM | Posted by Best of Baton Rouge: | Reply

I like the summary and breakdown of information here. Watched an episode of Law and Order that made me wonder what was safe.

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"It is the mark of a gentle... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2010 5:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Impaired Charge: | Reply

"It is the mark of a gentleman to omit the "e" when spelling "whisky.""

Actually, Whisky has traditionally referred to that distilled in Scotland, while 'Whiskey' (with the 'e') is referred to that distilled in Northern and Republic of Ireland. Bushmills is the oldest licensed distillery in the world, located in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, and it would be considered inappropriate to to spell their product without the 'e'.

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Love, love love this articl... (Below threshold)

November 23, 2010 7:16 PM | Posted by Lisa: | Reply

Love, love love this article and the side splitting comments that followed! Seriously, funny stuff, and also interesting.
I landed here from my query on 'how much is too much?' My one bad habit turns out to maybe not be so bad after all. Guess I'll go have a nice glass of wine to celebrate...cheers!


...I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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like! :D ... (Below threshold)

December 4, 2010 11:05 AM | Posted by Jess: | Reply

like! :D

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I'm not Italian by lineage,... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2011 9:51 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

I'm not Italian by lineage, but I was born and raised in Italy (Roma!) and lived there nearly 25 of my 55 years. I commend the author of this article, for his informed advice, witty prose and innate common sense. I also appreciate the "effervescent" comments of many of the posters here.

I recently applied to change a health insurance coverage (I'm with Kaiser, in Southern California). In their questionnaire, consumption of > two glasses of wine per day practically brands you as a high risk alcoholic.

I feel a deep resentment towards these doctrinaire, self-serving American HMO health organizations.

Their dogmatic positions are only rivaled by their stealthy self-serving, as they jack health insurance premiums by 25% a year and corral long time members into health questionnaire parameters that herd us all into ever higher "imputed risk" brackets designed to pad out their net annual earnings statement.

Italians health statistics are changing now, as their diet has been invaded by fast food and processed food, but I remember when I was a kid growing up, obesity was in fact lower than anywhere else in Europe (despite the stereotypical notion in America that the Italian diet is fattening - in *traditional & real* Italian cooking it's not).

Italians also held the record for decades for being among the most long-lived people in Europe, right up near the level of the Japanese. "Go figure", as they used to say in New York's Little Italy.

Wine of course was traditional at the dinner table, and on Sunday evenings you could see entire families out at the trattorias (outdoor restaurants) and frequently the children would be given a little tot of wine. They had one of the lowest incidences of alcoholism in Europe - far lower than the Northern European nations and the US.

I grew up with wine at the table and as a part of the national culture, just as it is in France and Spain. I find to this day, the Italian / Mediterranean attitude to alcohol is far healthier than that of the puritanical, dogmatic medical establishment against which this fine article speaks out.

My compliments to the author for a fine post, expressed with an appealing dry wit which immediately won me over. And to all the fine posters here who appreciate the lifestyle that goes with a relaxed attitude to having a glass of wine or spirits as part of your daily routine.

And to the gentleman who confessed he likes a half bottle of Malbec in the evening, you have my solidarity Sir. I was recently introduced to some Argentine Malbec which left me in a state of awe at it's nobility. =:-) Appeal to all posters here - don't let yourselves be browbeaten by the medical establishment on this question.

They are a bunch of hidebound, culturally insular dogmatists and their self-assured pronouncements are as arrogant as they are foolish on this question. My thanks to the author of this article for giving us such an informed rebuttal of the dogmatic nonsense that's clogged up health advisories on this question.

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I'm not Italian by lineage,... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2011 9:51 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

I'm not Italian by lineage, but I was born and raised in Italy (Roma!) and lived there nearly 25 of my 55 years. I commend the author of this article, for his informed advice, witty prose and innate common sense. I also appreciate the "effervescent" comments of many of the posters here.

I recently applied to change a health insurance coverage (I'm with Kaiser, in Southern California). In their questionnaire, consumption of > two glasses of wine per day practically brands you as a high risk alcoholic.

I feel a deep resentment towards these doctrinaire, self-serving American HMO health organizations.

Their dogmatic positions are only rivaled by their stealthy self-serving, as they jack health insurance premiums by 25% a year and corral long time members into health questionnaire parameters that herd us all into ever higher "imputed risk" brackets designed to pad out their net annual earnings statement.

Italians health statistics are changing now, as their diet has been invaded by fast food and processed food, but I remember when I was a kid growing up, obesity was in fact lower than anywhere else in Europe (despite the stereotypical notion in America that the Italian diet is fattening - in *traditional & real* Italian cooking it's not).

Italians also held the record for decades for being among the most long-lived people in Europe, right up near the level of the Japanese. "Go figure", as they used to say in New York's Little Italy.

Wine of course was traditional at the dinner table, and on Sunday evenings you could see entire families out at the trattorias (outdoor restaurants) and frequently the children would be given a little tot of wine. They had one of the lowest incidences of alcoholism in Europe - far lower than the Northern European nations and the US.

I grew up with wine at the table and as a part of the national culture, just as it is in France and Spain. I find to this day, the Italian / Mediterranean attitude to alcohol is far healthier than that of the puritanical, dogmatic medical establishment against which this fine article speaks out.

My compliments to the author for a fine post, expressed with an appealing dry wit which immediately won me over. And to all the fine posters here who appreciate the lifestyle that goes with a relaxed attitude to having a glass of wine or spirits as part of your daily routine.

And to the gentleman who confessed he likes a half bottle of Malbec in the evening, you have my solidarity Sir. I was recently introduced to some Argentine Malbec which left me in a state of awe at it's nobility. =:-) Appeal to all posters here - don't let yourselves be browbeaten by the medical establishment on this question.

They are a bunch of hidebound, culturally insular dogmatists and their self-assured pronouncements are as arrogant as they are foolish on this question. My thanks to the author of this article for giving us such an informed rebuttal of the dogmatic nonsense that's clogged up health advisories on this question.

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Perhaps the forum editor wi... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2011 9:54 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Perhaps the forum editor will remove the inadvertent duplicate post. Appeared to be a slow server, so I clicked the submit button twice.

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I got a shot glass that's m... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2011 3:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I got a shot glass that's marked for measuring: 1/2 oz, 1 oz., 1 1/2 oz (a legal shot). It's easiest to do the math with 100-proof spirits; at 2 oz of ethanol I get sorta sleepy.

Booze is an important part of my Food Pyramid.


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Great article. Question, ho... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2011 12:38 PM | Posted by Tom: | Reply

Great article. Question, however... what's the safe daily amount for spirits, bourbon specifically?

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Awesome article! You are am... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2011 4:21 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Awesome article! You are amazing with the math and all the technical. Loved it!

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Dear "last psychiatrist"- m... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2011 5:02 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Dear "last psychiatrist"- methinks you've won a lot of friends among us with this debunk of the medical establishment dogma. Thanks and best regards.

Lukester

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Um. Have you been drinking ... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2011 11:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Ero's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Um. Have you been drinking "whine"?

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Prudence is the better part... (Below threshold)

February 19, 2011 12:58 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Prudence is the better part of valor. Is that about right?

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Well, I have enjoyed a bott... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2011 2:30 PM | Posted by izzy: | Reply

Well, I have enjoyed a bottle of red wine from the age of 23yrs (now 50), apart from when I had three children and they were very young, but resumed when they got a bit older and still today enjoy a bottle of red wine every evening. I think my only problem with it is the amount of sugar involved, apart from that I have never experienced a problem. If anything it has helped me overcome many stressful periods in my life and helped me sleep peacefully when I could not otherwise do so. It 'knocked' me out, naturally, if you will, rather than drugs, like sleeping pills.

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Very entertaining and I lov... (Below threshold)

February 23, 2011 3:17 PM | Posted by Alkohol: | Reply

Very entertaining and I love the way you mock the "science" of this field. I think the main reason why so many heavy drinkers seem unbothered by a life long high intake of alcohol is the stress releveing effects of alcohol. If the mind feels good the body will follow.

As a side note: Robert Cameron, the founder of the infamous "The Drinking Man´s diet" lived to be 98! You gotta love that.

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what a worthless wise ass a... (Below threshold)

April 9, 2011 7:03 AM | Posted by les miller: | Reply

what a worthless wise ass article.the writter must have been drinking while writting it.it had nothing usefull to say.

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As a professor of English, ... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2011 6:52 PM | Posted by Lotte: | Reply

As a professor of English, I noted a few typos, sentence fragments (nothing wrong with frags, if used for effect), and a number of punctuation errors. So? It’s the content of the article that matters, and it confirmed what I intuitively knew. Consequently, I refuse to excuse my consumption of red wine here, just as I refused to concede I had a substance abuse problem when I saw a psychiatrist earlier this week.
In my naivety, I didn't perceive the need to lie about my red wine consumption, seeing as I find it not only acceptable but also beneficial in that it lessens the severity of my chronic pain—so much so that I haven't perceived the need to refill a morphine prescription in over six months. Frankly, I prefer to drink a couple glasses of red wine at the end of the day while making an awesome meal, rather than zoning out on opiates. Yet, I'm now labeled as having a "substance abuse" problem—and that after refusing antidepressants. I was also instructed to seek medical help immediately, should I experience DT's. Hmm ... It's hard for me to imagine anyone with a four-day a week habit of drinking excellent quality wine to suffer from hallucinations when not having a few glasses for two or three days.
Pharmaceuticals: It's what makes America go round. (And sadly Europe, albeit slow to follow, seems to have entered into the Ring Around the Rosie.)

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English Prof:I hav... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2011 3:06 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

English Prof:

I have a myocardial injury under one scapula in my upper back that I have carried around for 15 years and now verges on disabling me. I use a sauna and then swim laps five days a week to stretch it out, but learned years ago to avoid all "painkillers" as these doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals have many dangerous side effects with long term use.

This may be of interest to you for pain and inflammation management. Check out the powerful pain fighting and anti-inflammatory properties of SERRAPEPTASE, a simple enzyme originally synthesized from the stomach of the silkworm. The silkworm secretes it to burn a hole through it's cocoon when emerging as a butterfly.

Don't laugh - this enzyme has POWERFUL anti-inflammatory, fibrinolytic and pain fighting properties and is 100% safe for very long term use. It is also a powerful fibrinolytic which slowly digests sticky plaque buildup in your arteries and dissolves blood clots. If you take Serrapeptase for inflammation the dividend is that it promotes extremely smooth blood flow and softens and widens arterial walls.

The enzyme has been used in mainstream medicine in Europe for decades as an ai to wound healing, and as therapy fir anyone recovering from a stroke. It has virtually no counterindications for long term use and completely replaces the use of dangerous anti- inflammatories such as tylenol, Aleve and other NSAID class drugs.

I have been taking 180,000 IU's of pharmaceutical grade Serrapeptase for 3 years and found it's (non-drug!) properties equivalent to taking four to five maximum strength Tylenol per day, which would likely eventually cause a host of serious illnesses with long term use.

Naturally, as this is not a patented drug, US Healthcare providers know absolutely nothing about it. The one exception has been a Harvard trained (very bright) young surgeon I recently met, who knew of it and complimented me for having identified it. People have to fully realize that the US medical establishment really is in bed with the pharmaceutical industry and has an "acquired blindness" to such treatment solutions.

They affect this sort of patrician disdain for these non drug solutions, along with obtuse, puritanically inspired damnation for consumption of spirits which a nonagenarian Frenchman or Italian would look at with blank puzzlement.

Then they turn around without even a blink and serve up the most questionable practice of prescribing highly risky NSAIDS, or toxic concoctions like Warfarin to "combat blood clotting or atherosclerosis" while not ever telling the patient of the high risk associated with long term useof these "approved" treatments.

Good pharmaceutical grade enterically coated Serrapeptase can be purchased from AST Enzymes here in the US and you get the best pricing with a six months or one year supply purchase. I've had a bad neuromuscular injury for 15 years. Kaiser Permanente prescribed NSAID class painkillers to me for EIGHT YEARS without ever once informing me of the risks. They are IMO a bunch of quacks in bed with Big Pharma and I detest their brand of "medical care".

Ditto their views on what constitutes alcohol "abuse". My liver, kidney, blood chemistry, body fat, blood pressure function and profile score very high - much healthier than many others in my 55 age group, yet I drink 3 glasses of wine most days, just as I observed everyone else do in Italy as a kid growing up. Other than this injury I am in excellent health. BUNCH OF QUACKS!

If anyone here has chronic injury or pain and wants to give Serrapeptase a truly, or read the mountain of articles to be found on it online, please note it must be taken on an empty stomach. Ideally no food for two hours prior, or especially for two hours subsequent. Superb health supplement for treatment of many different illnesses (list too long to mention here).


The best vendor is Advanced Supplemental Therapies (AST) and the product name is Peptizyme-SP. I take two 80,000 IU caplets per day. Anyone here regularly taking Ibuprophen, acetaminophen or other similar painkillers for au my reason (e.g. Even for ordinary arthritis - you owe it to yourselves to learn about the hazards of NSAID class painkillers and about the thoroughly mainstream use of this anti-inflammatory and fibrinolytic which is so well known in Europe.

I hope this information can help someone here who may have chronic pain. Your American doctor will be the last medical professional in the world to ever alert you to these alternatives! Therefore, don't believe every last thing they tell you!

term therapies such as non-steroidal anti-

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Correction to the above - i... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2011 3:12 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Correction to the above - it is "myofascial" not "myocardial". The darned spellchecker replaced the correct word. That is a neuromuscular chronic injury. Nothing "cardio" about it, although Serrapeptase is indeed used in Europe ALSO for patients recovering from heart attacks (myocardial infarctions)! Truly a miraculous non-drug supplement.

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Well said. Great post.... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2011 3:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well said. Great post.

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Interesting that spam shoul... (Below threshold)

May 3, 2011 5:54 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Interesting that spam should arrive here in the form of an invitation to a restaurant. =:-)

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You all sound GAY... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2011 6:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You all sound GAY

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I'm 37, female, and have al... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2011 6:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anon: | Reply

I'm 37, female, and have also been drinking somewhere between 1/2 a bottle and a bottle of wine most nights for the last maybe 4-5 years. According to pretty much everyone, this makes me an alcoholic. But, I don't FEEL like an alcoholic. It doesn't impair my life functioning (unless I drink a whole bottle, in which case I'm invariably hungover), and so far no effects on my health that I can perceive.

But, I recently decided I better cut it the hell out, because I read about alcohol and cancer rates. I've obviously built up tolerance, because half a bottle gets me just a little buzzed. So, clearly it's affecting me. But other than the tolerance, I can't tell what it's doing.

I appreciate this blog putting my mind a little at ease about the magnitude of the invisible damage I've done. Nevertheless, I think I'm going to lay off. Better safe than sorry.

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Do you acknowledge that it'... (Below threshold)

June 10, 2011 2:10 PM | Posted by HOBBSDolly35: | Reply

Do you acknowledge that it's correct time to receive the loans, which can make your dreams come true.

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This article is a great ass... (Below threshold)

July 21, 2011 5:04 AM | Posted by Andrew: | Reply

This article is a great asset in the pursuit to show the neo-prohibitionists in America and other countries that moderate daily alcohol consumption is in fact healthy. I, a mid twenties male of average weight, drink three 12 oz. beers every day (Coors usually). On occasion, I may have a fourth, but never more than that. If it's a higher ABV than normal, I have less. I feel very good and healthy doing this. Study after study show that somewhere between 2-4 drinks a day for men and 2-3 for women (a drink being defined as 10-14 grams of alcohol) a day is quite healthy for lowering blood pressue, reducing stroke, increasing longevity, and reducing dementia. Now, with every study there should be much emphasis on moderation, and I believe most studies make this known. There seems to be a cutoff point, where at about 5 or more daily drinks for men and 4 for women, increased cancer risks and health problems start to outweigh the benifits of alcohol consumption.

America and other countries that have adopted a prohibitionist, all or none atitude to alcohol consumption sometimes stamp people who have a half bottle of wine a night, or perhaps 3 or 4 beers, as "at risk" drinkers (or worse in some cases) when this in fact is the norm in many countries such as Spain, France, and Italy. In fact if you go to a website showing international drinking guidelines (easy to find in a wikipedia or google search) you will find that countries such as Spain, Italy and France actually have their own health departments telling drinkers to have up to 3-4 drinks a day for good health! What America snubs as abusive or "at risk", health departments in Europe advise as healthy, and is one of the main reasons they live to be in their late eighties and early nineties and we die in our seventies of heart disease. These European countries such as France and Italy have lower rates of alcoholism and binge drinking since moderate daily alcohol consumption is so normalized. I love America, but we could learn a thing or two about healthy alcohol consumption from the Italians and the French. Great article.

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I loved this article and I ... (Below threshold)

September 2, 2011 12:55 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I loved this article and I loved all of the posts.
I drink a glass or two of wine daily and have felt almost ashamed because society views that as a "drinking problem". I know that I don't have a drinking problem so I have never stopped, but I know people who are affected by this view so much that they will stop drinking for a period of time so that others don't view them as having a problem. It's sad really.
I would like my children to grow up in an environment where drinking is not a big deal, I feel that they will be less likely to become binge drinkers and really be able to see the enjoyment of a nice glass of wine. I was allowed a small sip of beer, wine with communion, and a toast at weddings from a young age and I feel that this was beneficial to my view of alcohol.
(My grammar and spelling is not fantastic and I know this)

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What about wine/alcohol's a... (Below threshold)

September 2, 2011 1:57 PM | Posted by RC: | Reply

What about wine/alcohol's affect on cognition and mental health? I come from a family that is very long-living and healthy from the neck below, but depression, addiction, ADHD, and anxiety run rampant.

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relax bulldog a bit and ta... (Below threshold)

September 10, 2011 5:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Diggz's comment, by D.S: | Reply

relax bulldog a bit and take a glass of a red wine
chill.. When u do so .. realize before critisizing content for mere missprints that even your acused bad "grammer" is acctualy grammar .:)lol Talking of spelling you can't spell even spell spellig...it's double LL hello.Enlish is not even my native language..third..look how many grammar misstakes you made in one sentense..be cool stay in shool:)

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Respectfully, the math is s... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2011 9:15 PM | Posted by Chemist: | Reply

Respectfully, the math is still not right...

Not to be a jerk, but according to the CDC, the NIH, and the consensus of most world authorities, one drink is 18 mL ethanol (at a density of 0.789 g/mL that is 14 g per drink). Since we can't arbitrarily swap between mass and volume (think Archimedes and the bathtub) let's just use volume since beverages are bottled by volume...

At an upper value of 14%, a 750 mL bottle of wine contains 105 mL ethanol, which divided by 18 mL ethanol per drink gives us a total of..

*5.8 drinks (750 mL wine at 14%)

...but if we consider the listed 12.5 to be a good average, the value is more like 94 mL ethanol per bottle giving...

*5.2 drinks (750 mL wine at 12.5%)

Furthermore, at 5% alcohol, a single 355 mL can of beer equals 17.75 mL ethanol, which when rounded to 18 mL is...

*1 drink (355 mL beer at 5%)

Hopefully that will increase your readers' trust in the reliability of the medical profession, and the consistency of the physical sciences. A simple misconception can result in tremendous fear and anger as any doctor can tell you (after being reamed out by a patient or next of kin).

Our ancestors consumed alcohol, but they did so mostly in some degree of moderation since excessive consumption left them vulnerable to enemies. Even so, they only lived to be 30-40 years on average, so let's take legitimate medical advice as best we can and use it to better ourselves rather than perfect ourselves. That way we can all benefit and increase the probability we will live a long and healthy life. If the advice is troubling, then take it in good spirit and choose to do what you will (apart from breaking the law). We are all responsible for our actions and the consequences of those actions, but there is no purpose to living in fear, and I hope I have helped alleviate the fears of some of your fine readers, and even yourself.

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It is the mark of a gentlem... (Below threshold)

September 22, 2011 3:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It is the mark of a gentleman to omit the "e" when spelling "whisky."


Asshat.

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I drink a glass of wine a d... (Below threshold)

September 22, 2011 3:48 PM | Posted by Red, red wine: | Reply

I drink a glass of wine a day. Take ativan and benadryl at night. None of these maths help, since they can't predict how much the effects of the meds amplify the effects of the wine.

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Buddy you sound like... (Below threshold)

September 23, 2011 1:46 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply


Buddy you sound like one of those fabled "forum pigeons". Standard operating procedure: Fly In. Deposit pigeon droppings. Then fly away. =:-).

September 22, 2011 3:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"It is the mark of a gentleman to omit the "e" when spelling "whisky."

Asshat.


September 22, 2011 3:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Anonymous:

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to paraphrase a famous quot... (Below threshold)

September 24, 2011 12:39 PM | Posted by Freud: | Reply

to paraphrase a famous quote:
people who don't drink do no live longer than people who do - it just SEEMS longer!

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Apologies for an off topic ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2011 12:59 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Apologies for an off topic post, but this refers to the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatories, one of the most heavily prescribed drug classes in North America. Weigh the caution in these findings against the "risk" of consuming 3 glasses of wine a day, and one begins to percieve something remarkably similar to bias from the medical / pharmaceutical sector:

Quote:

a new study finds that some of the most common of these meds -- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen -- can cut lives short before they even begin, boosting the miscarriage rate by a stunning 240 percent.

Canadian researchers say data on some 50,000 pregnant women found that those who gobble down these meds during pregnancy lose their babies 36 percent of the time -- while those who skip the drugs have a 15 percent miscarriage rate.

The problem here isn't just the sky-high miscarriage risk -- it's that the risk is always highest during the first trimester. And ladies, you know the deal -- you don't always know right away if you're pregnant.

If you're a sexually active woman of baby-making age, you could be in the first trimester at any given time and not even know it.

What I'm getting at here, if it's not obvious, is that women should avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen even if they're only thinking about pregnancy -- because it's never too early to give 'em up... and there's always a possibility you'll be too late.

If that's not enough risk for you and your family, another recent study finds that NSAIDs can boost the risk of kidney cancer in men and women alike by 50 percent.
Throw in some of the other risks I've told you about lately -- these meds can up the odds of stroke, heart attack and an early death -- and you don't have a painkiller anymore.

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D

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it's not a mark of a gentle... (Below threshold)

October 22, 2011 9:33 AM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Abe: | Reply

it's not a mark of a gentleman, it's a mark of a Scotty or a Canuck.

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the typical japanese person... (Below threshold)

December 7, 2011 10:46 AM | Posted by supdougie!: | Reply

the typical japanese person eats very healthy (typical "traditional" breakfast is miso soup (with toppings like tofu, sprouts, cabbage, etc.etc) rice salad and green tea... lots of seafood means you saturate your brain with fatty 3 and 6 which is awesome for yuou.) . japan is low on crime rate, homelessness, their census is 99% accurate and every citizen is subject to free health care. basically, japan rocks. also japanese men (esp. businessmen) are know for perhaps somewhat excessive drinking = easier to find test subject of otherwise good health in japan. BOYAH

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Scots and Canadians spell i... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2011 12:10 PM | Posted by Vlad The Impaler: | Reply

Scots and Canadians spell is "Whisky." Irish and Americans spell it "Whiskey." It's from the gaelic "uisgebeatha" ("pron. "hwiske-vah") and means "water of life." (P.S. All Balvenies are good Scotches: Redbreast 15 by Jameson's is seriously good Irish).

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the most idiotic article I ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 10:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

the most idiotic article I have ever read.

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To the preceding poster - <... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 2:30 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

To the preceding poster -

Yes, and you can safely assume we are all suitably awed, by the brilliance and succinct eloquence of your critique, Mr. "forum pigeon". (** see key below ).

[ ** Footnote: "Forum Pigeon" standard operating procedure - flies in, flaps around aimlessly for a few minutes, deposits obligatory loose stool Pigeon Droppings, and flies away. ]

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Misconception 5: Small amou... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 3:49 AM | Posted by Sam: | Reply

Misconception 5: Small amounts of alcohol won’t impair bodily or mental functions.

Half of the states in the United States have set the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at 0.08 percent for motor vehicle operation. (BAC is usually expressed without “percent.”) This does not mean, however, that an individual is unimpaired at lower BACs. A BAC of 0.02–0.04 can impair memory and judgment.51 The effects of alcohol on an individual vary depending on the person’s weight, nutritional state, gender, exposure to other drugs, and other factors. Any amount of alcohol taken during pregnancy is considered risky.

http://science-education.nih.gov/supplements/nih3/alcohol/guide/info-alcohol.htm

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Misconception 7: Alcohol is... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 3:53 AM | Posted by Sam: | Reply

Misconception 7: Alcohol is good for your health.

Recent reports have indicated that moderate drinking (defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men) may lessen the risk for cardiovascular disease.44 These observations, however, do not give carte blanche for drinking alcohol. In considering such findings, it is important to weigh the benefits versus the risks. Although moderate drinking is associated with decreased risk for heart disease, it is also associated with increased risk of accidents. Drinking five or more drinks per day leads to increased risks for stroke and cancer. In addition, pregnant women, people using certain medications, and those diagnosed with alcoholism or other medical problems should refrain from drinking entirely.

http://science-education.nih.gov/supplements/nih3/alcohol/guide/info-alcohol.htm

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Misconception 1: Alcohol is... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 3:55 AM | Posted by Sam: | Reply

Misconception 1: Alcohol is a stimulant.

Alcohol has been falsely thought of as a stimulant because its initial effects on some people include feelings of euphoria and lowered inhibitions. Alcohol is classified correctly as a depressant because it later causes sedation and drowsiness.30 In high concentrations, alcohol can induce unconsciousness, coma, and even death.

http://science-education.nih.gov/supplements/nih3/alcohol/guide/info-alcohol.htm

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The CDC now defines this am... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 4:07 AM | Posted by Sam: | Reply

The CDC now defines this amount (7 or more drinks per week or 3 or more drinks on multiple occasions, or both) as a “significant” level of prenatal alcohol exposure and advises seeking a diagnosis of FAS. (CDC, 2004) This threshold amount was established by their review of the body of evidence from published research studies. The definition of risky (or binge) drinking for non pregnant women has even gone from 5 drinks in a day to 4. (NIAAA, 2005)

Numerous studies have shown that even low levels of alcohol during pregnancy can produce physical, cognitive, and behavioral deficits in children. These findings have led the US Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and many other professional medical societies to promote total abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy.

http://www.nofas.org/advocate/Wine_and_Pregnancy.aspx

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Moderate drinking is... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 4:23 AM | Posted by Sam: | Reply


Moderate drinking isn't without risk, though. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can disrupt your sleep, cloud your judgment and interact dangerously with medications you take, such as acetaminophen, antidepressants, sedatives and painkillers. You also run the risk of becoming addicted, especially if there's a history of alcoholism in your family.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/509972-what-is-drinking-in-moderation/#ixzz1j8hpqTEL

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Alcohol Increases Risk of D... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 4:35 AM | Posted by sam: | Reply

Alcohol Increases Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

There is convincing evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer. (23, 24) In a combined analysis of six large prospective studies involving more than 320,000 women, researchers found that having two or more drinks a day increased the chances of developing breast cancer as much as 41 percent.

Even moderate drinking carries some risks. Alcohol can disrupt sleep. Its ability to cloud judgment is legendary. Alcohol interacts in potentially dangerous ways with a variety of medications, including acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, painkillers, and sedatives. It is also addictive, especially for people with a family history of alcoholism.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/alcohol-full-story/index.html

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Does grape juice offer the same heart benefits as red wine?
Answer
from Martha Grogan, M.D.

Possibly. Some research studies suggest that red and purple grape juices may provide some of the same heart benefits of red wine, including:

Reducing the risk of blood clots
Reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol
Preventing damage to blood vessels in your heart
Helping maintain a healthy blood pressure

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/AN00576

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Sam, you are wearing the ty... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 4:39 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Sam, you are wearing the typical American Puritan's hair shirt on this topic.

Mediterranean societies raise entire households with a bottle of wine on the table at meals. Yet they have far, far lower incidence of alcohol abuse than Northern Europeans, and very notably, also than Americans.

Ditto lower rates of stroke, atherosclerosis and heart disease. 

Your stern admonition of regular use leading to alcohol abuse, is culturally hidebound, a bit stuffy, and generally insular. You need to travel a bit. Open the cultural window and let in a little fresh air. 

I lived in Italy 25 years - which I mention only to point out a few things - by and large they are *much healthier* than Americans in their diet, (not to speak of weight.

Example - we see virtually no widespread or cultural diffused understanding in America on the *lethality of sodas*, and our consumption of high fructose corn syrup in *all* our food soars higher than any other nation's -like a Saturn Booster Rocket. 

Corn Syrup being found in virtually all American packaged food (we invented this kind of industrialized commodity nutrition) creates far, far more major illness (diabetes, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular illness - ALL pathologies) than wine for instance, ever remotely has, or ever will.

These Mediterranean people's cultural capacity to relax, (and no they are NOT lazy), to integrate work into the society in a way that does not kill people outright, evidences a far more livable way of life. A wiser and more rewarding way of life. 

Theirs is a correct cultural approach to alcohol as an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle. They rarely overindulge in strong spirits.

It's an innate, built in, cultural understanding about how to approach alcohol that they do gracefully and naturally. Oh, and they have one of the highest longevity rates in the world. Geez, why is that do you suppose?

What's that famous painting called - with the dour faced Amish teetotaling farmer holding a pitchfork, standing in the farmyard with his dour faced wife? Is it by Norman Rockwell? 

Everything that is unbearably repressed about Puritan America is in that picture. Your response reminds me of that. 

If I were locked up with such people eventually I would jump out of a window in desperation to escape them. You need to travel a bit buddy. Expand those Puritan instincts you're sporting.  =:-)


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Modern Americans have this ... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 4:48 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

Modern Americans have this infatuation with the reduction of food to some sort of antiseptic science - we believe that the closer we haul the 10,000 year old art of gastronomy's lifeless carcass towards the antisepsis of science, the more we will attain longevity.

Many Anericans believe this without question, like a religion.

I find this infatuation with food as science deluded, culturally unmoored from the healthier traditions found in countries like Japan and Italy ( two of the most ling lived people in the industrialised world), and generally depressing. When you try to graft food into science as a form of religion, you **create** ill health. Depressing.

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'Nuff said on the evils of ... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2012 5:15 AM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

'Nuff said on the evils of alcohol. You can't preach this tune when our nation invented industrialized nutrition. Period.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that, in 2010, the per capita consumption of high fructose corn syrup, adjusted for loss during transport, processing and uneaten food, was 35.1 lbs per year or 166 calories per person per day.(1)

According to the USDA, high fructose corn syrup accounts for roughly 37% of all caloric (nutritive) sweeteners consumed in the U.S.(3)

Around the world, high fructose corn syrup accounts for about 8 percent of caloric (nutritive) sweeteners consumed. (4)

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Wow - firstly I think your ... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 9:45 PM | Posted by moriah: | Reply

Wow - firstly I think your pretty funny, secondly I enjoyed the mathematical breakdown, unfortunately I am currently drinking and it went a bit over my head. I have usually 2 drinks a day, but as you have mentioned "drink" is relative. I like a good strong G&T and believe it or not cheap dry champagne. I guess the way I found your lovely article was the question of wether or not it was bad for me or not to consume as much as I do...and as you have stated, thats practically impossible to answer....sooooo..I guess I will stick to the old adage "everything in moderation" but then, are two drinks moderate?...hmmm...oh well, another conundrum, thanks for the entertainment and of course for the facts that I sort of understood! I just finished the first of my G&Ts for the night, maybe I will read it again after my second, Cheers and good health to you.

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Please remove this irrespon... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2012 3:56 PM | Posted by sommelier: | Reply

Please remove this irresponsible and misguided article. It is shameful that this fearmongering nonsense (even after the correction from 13 drinks (just over a shot glass of wine) is the first result on google when people want to know how many 'drinks' are in a bottle of wine. Sure there are slightly different alcohol contents and such but 5oz of wine has always been considered a 'drink' and so there are 5 drinks (just like everyone thinks) in bottle of wine. Please remove this garbage from the web.

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It seems that all the sites... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2012 12:25 PM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by craig: | Reply

It seems that all the sites I have visited actually condone alcohol use, saying it helps dementia and alshiemers, as well as other health problems. I have seen the opposite to this in real life....it actually increases the confusion etc. associated with these disorders. All I can say is, no one can stop someone from drinking because...well, hey....there's a liquor store on every corner it seems here in Canada. Drink on then.....I've seen too much destruction from it,totally not for me....try 4:20 instead.

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To the poster above comment... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2012 12:46 PM | Posted by Lukester: | Reply

To the poster above commenting on alcohol abuse in the "great white north".

Yes, this is indeed a known tendency - all populations at high northern latitudes tend towards more "environmental" influence towards alcohol abuse - largely in response to the depressant effect upon the psyche from lack of adequate daylight/sunshine hours.

Some of the countries with notably higher "cultural assimilation" of chronic or high strong spirits consumption:

> Poland, Finland and Russia (famously heavy drinkers)
> Norway and Sweden (famously heavy drinkers)
> Icelanders and Greenlanders
> Canadians (can more than hold thir own!)

Etc.

Absolutely no surprise to hear such Puritan-inspired comments from you chaps. And yes, when it comes to strong spirits the potential for abuse is much higher, particularly in the long dark winters which challenge people in these northern climates.

Even the Europeans, a patchwork of many small countries quilting the European continent, show progressively more alcohol abuse as you look from south to north. The Southern Europeans provide the tell tale clue however - their rate of alcohol abuse is far lower. It's the bountiful sunshine, and something about the Latin countries liberation from the hair shirt Calvinist impulses of the Northerners (like the Canadian poster above)! =:-)

Lukester

Motto to live a long and happy life (preferably in a balmy southern latitude):

"vivere est bibere!". =:-)


liquor

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In my experience, going NSA... (Below threshold)

February 29, 2012 2:35 AM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

In my experience, going NSA (no sulfites added) has been excellent for eliminating the hot flush and indeed any trace of hangover. I've been drinking TJ's Well Re(a)d:

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011/02/heartswork_winery_well_read_20.php

to good effect, in an effort to curb the heart problems that run in the family and which have afflicted me as well before 40. My consumption is half to a bottle a day. I'm also taking resveratrol and other supplements, but no prescription medication.

I couldn't tolerate much red wine until trying NSA. It's been a night and day difference.

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Fucking Racist... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2012 11:53 PM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

Fucking Racist

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Just enjoy it. If it makes ... (Below threshold)

June 7, 2012 11:54 PM | Posted by Jon W: | Reply

Just enjoy it. If it makes you happy and you're not driving or hurting someone physically or emotionally, enjoy.

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"mellow the hell out" -- TH... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2012 11:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"mellow the hell out" -- THE best advice to be found anywhere. Period. More people should try this.

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great post. I had an argume... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2012 8:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

great post. I had an argument with my pcp about how many ounces were in a glass...I said 6oz and he said 4.. I looked at him like he was insane.

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Good post Sometimes peopl... (Below threshold)

October 18, 2012 1:09 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Good post Sometimes people delve too deep you did perfect in my humble opinion

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Those who enjoy the greates... (Below threshold)

October 30, 2012 5:28 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Those who enjoy the greatest longevity live on the Greek island of Ikeria. They consume between 2 and four glasses of wine per day. Not sure what constitutes a glass though. You can read for free today because of Hurricane Sandy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?ref=magazine

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Those who enjoy the greates... (Below threshold)

October 30, 2012 5:29 PM | Posted by T: | Reply

Those who enjoy the greatest longevity live on the Greek island of Ikeria. They consume between 2 and four glasses of wine per day. Not sure what constitutes a glass though. You can read for free today because of Hurricane Sandy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?ref=magazine

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What a dumb "article" if yo... (Below threshold)

February 20, 2013 6:11 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

What a dumb "article" if you want to call it that. Most "facts" are wrong. No citations. Pathetic article.

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Fuck off, cunt!... (Below threshold)

May 7, 2013 11:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Diggz's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Fuck off, cunt!

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Moderate drinking prevents ... (Below threshold)

June 28, 2013 4:06 AM | Posted by NFA Trust Texas: | Reply

Moderate drinking prevents you from getting drunk. Moderate drinkers don't drink to get drunk. Moderate drinkers also tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers do.

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Ausgezeichnet!... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2013 6:21 PM | Posted by sherry bruce: | Reply

Ausgezeichnet!

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That's awesome.... (Below threshold)

October 23, 2013 11:40 PM | Posted, in reply to h2odragon's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That's awesome.

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Drug metabolites are not ea... (Below threshold)

December 24, 2013 12:55 AM | Posted by Allen: | Reply

Drug metabolites are not easy to get rid of. They remain in the body for many years and cause withdrawal problems. Narconon Fresh Start’s New Life Detoxification Program involves flushing out these drug metabolites from the fatty tissues by using nutritional supplements and sauna. The results are very promising and helpful.

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To further Impaired Charge'... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2013 10:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Meat Robot's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

To further Impaired Charge's - and other's - response, it is not the mark of a gentleman to omit the "e" in "Whiskey." Rather, it is a matter of cultural norms. "Whisky," without the "e," is British and Canadian. "Whiskey," with the "e," is different cultures' spellings; thus, you have Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey, and bourbon whiskey. Yes, I'm American, so enjoy the commas on the insides of the quotation marks. Additionally, the plural of "whisky/whiskey" is "whiskies" or "whiskeys," generally not "whiskys."

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Until my brother and sister... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2014 5:07 PM | Posted by ratso: | Reply

Until my brother and sister blossomed into physically abusive rageaholic blackout alcoholics, I thought that they were fun people who enjoyed their nightly drinks. From seizures and DUIs to anxiety and osteopenia, not to mention brain shrinkage and impaired memory, my fifty-year old sister, formerly the fun girl, liked by everyone, has her nightly bottle of wine to thank for losing everything. Like the author of this article, my sibling goes to great lengths to justify her consumption. The obsessive level of justification signals that the author, himself has a drinking problem.

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I'm sorry for your siblings... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2014 5:51 PM | Posted, in reply to ratso's comment, by Your Friend: | Reply

I'm sorry for your siblings but what a pompous, selfish statement you made. You remind me of the people who shove the concept of AA down the throats of everybody who enjoys drink simply because they have a bad personal experience with alcohol. Leave the preaching to the evangelists. The truth, as the author put it, is that arbitrary numbers that define binge drinking have nothing to do with science and reality. It doesn't factor in gender, age, weight, hydration levels, food in stomach, time in between drinks, etc.

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Certainly, or a Laphroaig Q... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 6:54 PM | Posted, in reply to rob's comment, by Richard: | Reply

Certainly, or a Laphroaig Quarter cask!

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There are two issues that I... (Below threshold)

July 5, 2014 1:32 PM | Posted by Denis Grace: | Reply

There are two issues that I think are important to add to this discussion:

1) It is widely known most adults underreport their alcohol consumption. This means that the statistical thresholds for "harmful" drinking are artificially low.
Google: Underreported alcohol consumption. Here is the conclusion of recent research:

Conclusions: We conclude that the apparent increased risk of cancer among light–moderate drinkers may be substantially due to underreporting of intake.

http://www.bu.edu/alcohol-forum/critique-138-underreporting-of-alcohol-intake-affects-the-relation-of-alcohol-to-the-risk-of-cancer-23-april-2014/

2) Phytochemicals. Wine is food. Research indicates that antioxidants and other chemicals found in wine have a healthy component.
Google: wine phytochemical.

Cheers,
Max

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You must be a democrat... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2014 5:39 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jsph: | Reply

You must be a democrat

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What a great initiative her... (Below threshold)

July 18, 2014 4:15 AM | Posted by Yepi: | Reply

What a great initiative here. I'll look around the site and see if I can offer any additional ideas. Thanks.
Yepi

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Thank you for shar... (Below threshold)

October 31, 2014 3:40 AM | Posted by apricot kernel extract: | Reply

Thank you for sharing excellent information. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details

that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web

page, will come back for extra articles.

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A questions for everyone, i... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2014 7:59 AM | Posted by alanongran: | Reply

A questions for everyone, including the admin here:

You are trying to make alcoholism an acceptable behavior. Bottom line folks is this.....if you have to have your 1/2 bottle of wine a night, you are an alcoholic and need help. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. You undoubtedly did not start drinking 1/2-1 bottle of wine all of a sudden.
Children who start drinking in their younger teen years will become addicted in 6 months because their brains are still developing....in fact, our brains are not fully developed until our mid-twenties.
If one consistently drinks to relieve stress, emotional pain, to get to sleep, to feel 'normal', that person is an alcoholic.
Instead of trying to figure out the upper limit of how much alcohol you can drink and still function standing upright; learn how to live life without the fog of alcohol controlling each and every day.
There is hope and peace and joy without alcohol.

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Alan,You say this in... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2014 5:40 PM | Posted, in reply to alanongran's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Alan,
You say this in face of the overwhelming evidence that moderate alcohol consumption is not only healthy but will extend your lifespan. WebMD Is one of the most reliable sources on subjects regarding health, check it out. My advice to you is that you may want to consider adding a little wine to your diet for your health.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/wine-how-much-is-good-for-you

"Researchers found a boost in brainpower with one drink a day. Moderate drinkers had a 23% reduced risk of mental decline compared with nondrinkers."

"Alcohol also can have a very powerful effect and increase HDL "good" cholesterol by 20% if used moderately and in the context of a healthy diet "

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