[ExI] Alcohol meta-analysis

Harvey Newstrom mail at harveynewstrom.com
Tue Jun 9 15:22:04 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 09 June 2009 1:27:05 am Max More wrote:
> Thanks for posting that, Emlyn. These researchers
> (who seem to have several meta-analysis of
> alcohol) did find some protective effect of
> alcohol for coronary heart disease -- but not for anything else.
> Now I'll have to try to figure out how many normal drinks 72g of ethanol
> is...

Unfortunately, I have concluded that alcohol may not be protective for me.  

We cannot assume that any specific benefit is new to us and can be added to 
enhance our diet.  We may already be getting the benefit at much greater 
quantities elsewhere.  For example, back when they attributed wine's 
protective effects to antioxidants, I realize that I am taking many times more 
antioxidants than I could get from a glass of wine.  When they started 
research into Resveratol, I realized that a single pill could give me more of 
the substance than a dozen glasses of wine.  If the protective effect comes 
from dilating the arteries, I knew I used niacin to get an even greater and 
long-lasting effect.  If the protective effect comes from removing LDL-
cholesterol, my Lipitor pill does that so much more effectively.

So depending on what the specific protective mechanism is, it may not add 
anything to my diet that I don't already have.  All the experiments have 
compared average (bad diet) people with the same people who added a glass of 
wine.  For that group, the protective effect outweighed any negative effect of 
alcohol (on the brain and liver, for example).  But for myself (good diet) or 
similar group, we are already getting a lot of good effects.  Wine may not add 
much if any.  But even worse, the damage from alcohol may be the same or 
slightly mitigated by good diet.  That is, adding alcohol may not add much 
benefit, but may still add much of the detriment.  Since our equations are 
different than the average public's, we may actually get a negative effect from 
adding alcohol because we are already getting the good effects elsewhere 
without alcohol's side-effects.

For that reason, I never jump on a substance as being good for me, just 
because experiments show it is good for the average population.  I'm not 
average.  I have to figure out how it works and determine if that specific effect 
is missing from my regimen before I can determine if it will give me any 
benefit.  The more good we do in our private regimens, the more likely it is 
that these dietary effects become superfluous to our diets.

Harvey Newstrom <www.HarveyNewstrom.com>

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