An Ounce of Prevention, or Two, or Three…

16 11 2010

A recent study out of Italy reports that 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day may help those who have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (commonly referred to as a CABG) from having a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or cerebrovascular accident (stroke) after their surgery. Examining over 1,200 patients for a period of 3 ½ years, it was found that those who consumed light to moderate amounts of alcohol reduced their risk of these adverse events by about 25%. Light to moderate drinking was considered 5 grams to 30 grams (1.06 ounces) of alcohol a day, or about two to three drinks.

A study done in the US by Harvard looked at almost 14,000 women and found 2-4 drinks daily during mid-life was associated with better health in their 70s. Their survival with good health was 11 to 26% higher than those who did not consume. A separate study from the US found one drink a day reduced the stroke risk in women by about 20%.

For regular readers of this site, it’s not new news. The same consistent message appears: moderate, responsible (somewhere between 1-3 drinks) alcohol consumption makes good health sense. Now that is an ounce of prevention that goes down as an easy one …or two…or three….

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6 responses

16 11 2010
tasteofbeirut

OK; I have heard it before and have also heard the opposite statements; now thanks to you I am in a good mood and can start the day happy: I will drink a glass of wine tonight! Yaya!

16 11 2010
whatscookingwithdoc

@TOB: When I was in medical school I was taught there was no redeeming medicinal value. How times change and the circle completes!

16 11 2010
hoshinuk

Hi, Doc, couple of questions as this is of interest to my meditation students in stress reduction and health promotion.
By “one drink” are you reffering to one unit of alcohol?
I was wondering what the mechanism is? Is part of the benefit from the alcohol the relaxation / de-stress effects; to shift dominance from the sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system and so reduce overall organ stress from the typical modern lifestyle induced over-activity of the adrenals?
Thanks,
Jen.

16 11 2010
whatscookingwithdoc

@Jen: 1 drink refers to about 1 ounce of alcohol, generally 1 beer, galss of wine or mixed drink. I do not think anyone has nailed down the exact mechanism, although hypothesis abound. Stress reduction may certainly be part of it (and likely is), but when looking at stress factors/lifestyle factors alcohol still emerges as an independent variable. So there is probably something additional going on besides just relaxation.

17 11 2010
hoshinuk

Right, I figured it would not be the only factor. Thanks for the feedback 🙂
I can see a line forming already for guinea pigs to study on this… 😉
Jen.

19 11 2010
Our Health And Fitness Blog – Aspects You Have To Comprehend About Learning To Prevent Weight Problems

[…] An Ounce of Prevention, or Two, or Three… « What's Cookin' with Doc: The Rx Pad […]

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