Category Archives: Alcohol

From The Lancet: Guidelines on Maximum Alcohol Consumption May Be Too High

No, I haven’t read the whole thing. You go first.

“The main finding of this analysis was that the threshold for lowest risk for all-cause mortality was about 100 g per week. For men, we estimated that long-term reduction of alcohol consumption from 196 g per week (the upper limit recommended in US guidelines) to 100 g per week or below was associated with about 1–2 years of longer life expectancy at age 40 years. Exploratory analyses suggested that drinkers of beer or spirits, as well as binge drinkers, had the highest risk for all-cause mortality.”

Source: Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies – The Lancet

Recipe: Mojito

Mastro’s Steakhouse mojitos set the standard for my wife

My wife rarely drinks alcohol, but she does enjoy a good mojito. So I decided to learn how to make one. I learned a new term with this project: muddle. I didn’t have a dedicated muddler so I used the thick tip of a spatula handle instead.

This recipe serves two. For one serving, just reduce everything by half.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp sugar (4 if you like things a little sweeter)

3 Tbsp water

20 fresh mint leaves

1 lime cut into small wedges

4 fl oz white rum

4 oz club soda (or seltzer?)

Directions:

Make a syrup by putting the water and sugar in a small saucepan and warm on the stove over medium heat, stirring intermittently until sugar dissolves. Just takes 1–2 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

Put the mint leaves in the bottom of a small pitcher or large thick glass (I used a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup) then add the lime wedges.  Muddle together gently for 20–30 seconds until the juice is released from the limes.

Add your syrup, rum, and club soda to the container holding the mint and lime. Stir briefly.

Fill two large glasses (2-cup capacity) with ice and pour half of your mix into each. Top off with additional club soda if desired. Enjoy responsibly.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Revised May 14, 2018

 

Red Wine May Prevent Tooth Decay & Gum Disease 

I’ve altered the original article’s headline because it’s misleading, making it sound like it’s proven that red wine improves dental health in humans.  But the allegations are hypothetical, based on polyphenol content of wine. Click below for the minimal details.

Source: Study: Red Wine Prevents Tooth Decay, Gum Disease | National News | US News

Mark Rippetoe and Matt Reynolds Talk About Whiskey

As I watched this, I couldn’t help thinking about “wine snobs.” Are these guys whiskey snobs?

Rippetoe is a famous strength trainer. The other gentleman, I don’t know.

They’ve convinced me to try Eagle Rare 10 year old bourbon, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Old Grand Dad 114, and Rittenhouse Bottle and Bond (?) Rye.

I didn’t know it but apparently whiskey has become a thing.

Jamesons Irish Whiskey.
Photo copyright: Steve Parker Parker

Does Alcohol Affect Body Weight?

Jamesons Irish Whiske.
Photo copyright: Steve Parker Parker

Jane Brody writes in NYT:

Prospective studies, which are generally considered to be more rigorous than cross-sectional studies and which follow groups of people over time, in this case from several months to 20 years, had varied results and produced “no clear picture” of the relationship between alcohol and weight. Several found either no relationship or a negative relationship, at least in women, while others found that men who drank tended to risk becoming obese, especially if they were beer drinkers.

The conclusion from the most recent such studies: While heavy drinkers risked gaining weight, “light to moderate alcohol intake is not associated with weight gain or changes in waist circumference.”

Parker here. “Light to moderate” drinking would be up to one drink a day for women or two a day for men, on average.

You can even lose excess body weight without deleting alcohol from your diet, as in the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.

Front cover

Death By Alcohol Is Increasingly Popular Among White Women in U.S.

Perhaps she should reconsider

Perhaps she should reconsider

Did you wake up with a hangover today?

From the Washington Post:

“Drinking is killing twice as many middle-aged white women as it did 18 years ago.

Generally, middle age (age 35 to 54)  is not the time to die in modern societies. It is past teenage dangers, before the serious perils of age, and improved medical care and public-health campaigns are keeping more people alive.

So why are middle-aged white women dying more often even while death rates for other groups continue to go down? What are white women doing that is so different?

One simple answer is: a lot more drinking.

Source: Nine charts that show how white women are drinking themselves to death – The Washington Post

A bit off-topic, but I’d define middle-aged as 40 to 65.

From the same Post article:

“The Washington Post has spent the year crossing the country to look into causes and repercussions of the strange increase in deaths among middle-aged white women and men. Alcohol, opioids and suicide are important factors. See the full coverage here.”

Exercise Cancels the Cancer-Causing Effect of Alcohol

Jamesons Irish Whiskey Photo copyright: Steve Parker MD

Jamesons Irish Whiskey
Photo copyright: Steve Parker MD

It was just a couple weeks ago we learned that you’ll die of cancer if you tipple. Well, a new study says you can counteract the carcinogenic alcohol with adequate physical activity.

A story at CNN tells us how much exercise it takes :

“Specifically, they looked at the impact of the recommended amount of weekly exercise for adults, which is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. That includes brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. HHS also advises strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.”

Source: Exercise can cancel out the booze, says study – CNN.com

The rule of thumb on how much alcohol is relatively safe to drink is 7 typical drinks a week for women, and 14 for men.

Also remember that even one or two drinks under the right circumstances can have devastating consequences.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: All of my books have extensive recommendations on getting started with exercise, even if you’re a 300-lb couch potato.