Monday, April 16, 2018

Warning, drinking poison may damage your health..

Following recent revelations that drinking too much alcohol shortens your life this amusing letter appeared in the letters section of the paper, it made me smile on a sunny Spring morning. 

It shouldn't be surprising to people that consuming what is essentially a poisonous substance will do some harm to most people, especially if they do it over prolonged periods of time. What the study showed was that for people who stick to the recommended guidelines there should be no obvious effects on their health, but, the more you exceed these thresholds regularly the more likely it is that you'll suffer from one or more of the many illnesses correlated with alcohol consumption, like heart disease and cancer. This conclusion should be a "no shit Sherlock" kind of conclusion, but as is the way of mass-scientific studies, the results will, no doubt, be contended by vested interests and deluded people using the classic "my granny smoked until she was 90" defense.

Personally, I try to limit myself to the guidelines (or thereabouts) of around 14-16 units per week and therefore have alcohol infrequently, usually on Friday and/or Saturday evening, the rest of the week being dry; this seems to work for me. Many of my peer-group seem to drink a lot more than this, some would even claim to sink something alcoholic every night! I'm sure you get used to whatever pattern you follow, but for me, that kind of frequency would be harmful, especially over an extended period of time. I know I have addictive potential when it comes to booze (you can test this by measuring your blood-pressure before and after a couple of quickly downed drinks, if it's elevated then you need to watch out) so, although I get much pleasure from the whole wine-tasting gig and more lately craft-beers, I do need to take care.

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