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Thread: Science forbids alcohol consumption: No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe

  1. #1 Science forbids alcohol consumption: No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe 
    Anti-Pseudoscience Some's Avatar
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    That is the conclusion of the 2014 World Cancer Report (WCR), issued by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

    Isn’t Modest Drinking Cardioprotective?


    Alcohol is a double-edged sword.[12] Two decades ago, studies that explored the “French paradox” began to appear in the medical literature and were also picked up as news by the mainstream media. Light to moderate alcohol consumption appeared to have a cardioprotective effect. According to observational studies, the French, who had the highest alcohol intake (particularly of wine), also had the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease.[13]
    John Q. Public, who may have viewed these results as a “get out of jail free” card, may also have ignored the “small print” that cautioned against alcohol consumption as a measure to prevent cardiovascular disease.[14,15] The evidence showing lower risks for diabetes mellitus, stroke, heart failure, and total mortality stand in stark contrast to the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption.[13]
    Another problem with the notion of alcohol’s protective effect on cardiovascular disease is that this effect depends on a consistent light to moderate drinking pattern, without episodic heavy or “binge” drinking. The ideal pattern seems to be daily low- to moderate-dose alcohol intake (preferably red wine) before or during the evening meal, which is associated with the strongest reduction in adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However, more is not better; in fact, more is dramatically worse. Heavy alcohol use causes hypertension, atrial fibrillation, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.[13]

    The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is stronger than the evidence for its beneficial effects. Moreover, the risk-to-benefit ratio of drinking appears to be higher in younger individuals, who also have higher rates of excessive or binge drinking and more frequently suffer the adverse consequences of acute intoxication (accidents, violence, and social problems). In fact, among males aged 15-59 years, alcohol abuse is the leading risk factor for premature death.[12]
    And yet, other than celebrity drunk-driving stories, we rarely see headlines about the harm caused by alcohol. Dr. Rehm comments, “I do not know why a beneficial link would be more important than a detrimental link, if the beneficial link overall is about one tenth of the detrimental link. We have counted how many studies are reported in the press, and there are many more reports on the beneficial link than on the detrimental link between alcohol and health.”
    “The public’s acknowledgment of the risk associated with an exposure depends on the strength of that relationship. Because 80%-90% of cancer deaths are caused by tobacco, the risk is common knowledge. If your neighbor dies, the first thing people ask is whether he was a smoker. The relationship of alcohol with other cancers, however, might be in the range of 5%-40%. So if your neighbor dies of breast cancer, people wouldn’t ask whether she was a drinker.”
    Warning: Drinking Is Hazardous to Your Health


    Men are four: He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool--shun him; He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple--teach him; He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep--wake him; He who knows and knows he knows, hi is wise--follow him!
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  3. #2  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    You just set a new record. I stopped reading at "Science forbids alcohol consumption". Even with the most absurd posters, I usually make it past the thread title....


    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    You just set a new record. I stopped reading at "Science forbids alcohol consumption". Even with the most absurd posters, I usually make it past the thread title....

    If you go the conclusion of the article, it states (bold mine):
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    In summary, any level of alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing an alcohol-related cancer, and that the risk rises in accordance with the level of consumption. That is a discouraging message. However, the flip side is that any reduction in alcohol consumption will lower the cancer risk. Although no absolutely safe level of alcohol intake can be promoted, a return to the days of prohibition is not necessary to derive the health benefits of reduced cancer risk. However, what is essential is to increase public awareness about alcohol-related cancer risk and seek sensible ways to reduce that risk.

    Neither the writer nor the people quoted in the article mentions the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.
    In other words, the usage of the phrase "Science forbids alcohol consumption" is not justified by the content.
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; May 15th, 2014 at 03:53 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Neither the writer nor the people quoted in the article mentions the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.
    In other words, the usage of the phrase "Science forbids alcohol consumption" is not justified by the content.
    But . . . but . . . fewer people might read it without the hyperbole!
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    I think I will do more research...lol
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    Well this is depressing news! And to think I just started to make homemade wine at home
    They say moderation is key and for a long time, we just abided by this rule. Now it looks like no amt of alcohol is safe.

    Anybody have any update on this study?
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    ^If you are that worried about it, I would gladly drink your wine for you.
    But seriously, I would love to just totally pound some homemade wine.
    And now seriously also, a statistical correlation does not​ imply causation.
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    Haha cool - are you anywhere in Vancouver? I am willing to share a bottle! ^_^

    I appreciate you pointing out that last part though. You are right. I keep thinking about alcohol's benefit &/or disbenefit to us in evolutionary terms.
    Great stress reducer + aphrodisiac of sorts = more offspring, perhaps?

    Lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    ^If you are that worried about it, I would gladly drink your wine for you.
    But seriously, I would love to just totally pound some homemade wine.
    And now seriously also, a statistical correlation does not​ imply causation.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
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    Well said. And what I find interesting is that ALL these studies purporting to show that the safest course is total abstinence from alcohol emanate from the USA. No European study ever comes to such a radical conclusion.

    I am left with the feeling that these scientific studies are not immune from the subliminal effects of social conditioning: the embedded tradition of alcohol in Europe on the one hand, and the slightly uneasy relationship with alcohol that persists in the US, on the other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    (...) I am left with the feeling that these scientific studies are not immune from the subliminal effects of social conditioning: the embedded tradition of alcohol in Europe on the one hand, and the slightly uneasy relationship with alcohol that persists in the US, on the other.

    (Bold mine)

    Could you elucidate about that? Do you mean that drinking alcohol in the U.S. is more of a taboo than in Europe?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    (...) I am left with the feeling that these scientific studies are not immune from the subliminal effects of social conditioning: the embedded tradition of alcohol in Europe on the one hand, and the slightly uneasy relationship with alcohol that persists in the US, on the other.

    (Bold mine)

    Could you elucidate about that? Do you mean that drinking alcohol in the U.S. is more of a taboo than in Europe?
    Alcohol consumption is certainly accepted by the majority of people in the U.S., but there are some people who still oppose it (particularly those who are religious). From what I understand, alcohol consumption is well-ingrained into European culture.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    (...) I am left with the feeling that these scientific studies are not immune from the subliminal effects of social conditioning: the embedded tradition of alcohol in Europe on the one hand, and the slightly uneasy relationship with alcohol that persists in the US, on the other.

    (Bold mine)

    Could you elucidate about that? Do you mean that drinking alcohol in the U.S. is more of a taboo than in Europe?
    Not a taboo, no that would be far too strong. But drinking alcohol is still regarded as suspect in some circles in the US. For example, when I lived in Houston, I knew quite a lot of people who did not drink alcohol at all, which is very rare in Europe. Also some who said they did not drink "strong liquor", by which they meant any drink based on spirits, such as a gin and tonic or a cocktail.

    Also, at a couple of medical exams, the questionnaire I had to fill in asked me if I "used alcohol" or not. This is the disparaging language people employ for the consumption of illegal drugs.

    In the US, pregnant women are told they must forgo alcohol completely, whereas in Europe they are told to drink no more than a couple of glasses of wine a week, or so.

    So there is a cultural difference in attitude, I think. Prohibition and puritan religious belief have let their mark, it seems to me. Either that or we are all hopeless drunks in Europe.
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Not a taboo, no that would be far too strong. But drinking alcohol is still regarded as suspect in some circles in the US. For example, when I lived in Houston, I knew quite a lot of people who did not drink alcohol at all, which is very rare in Europe. Also some who said they did not drink "strong liquor", by which they meant any drink based on spirits, such as a gin and tonic or a cocktail.

    Also, at a couple of medical exams, the questionnaire I had to fill in asked me if I "used alcohol" or not. This is the disparaging language people employ for the consumption of illegal drugs.

    In the US, pregnant women are told they must forgo alcohol completely, whereas in Europe they are told to drink no more than a couple of glasses of wine a week, or so.

    So there is a cultural difference in attitude, I think. Prohibition and puritan religious belief have let their mark, it seems to me. Either that or we are all hopeless drunks in Europe.

    I did not know that. Thank you for the information (you too, member mat5592).
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    In the debate Nadir presented scientific, archaeological and medical evidence to support his position that the Quran is the word of God and that Islamic monotheism is therefore correct.
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    I always thought that drinking in moderation is fine. Thanks for the information. I might do more research as well and see more studies about alcohol consumption.
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