Skip to comments.Drink like the French and stay alive
Posted on 11/28/2004 11:11:14 AM PST by 1066AD
Drink like the French and stay alive Mine's a small, regular one ...
Robin McKie, science editor Sunday November 28, 2004
It's not what you drink but the way that you drink it. This is the unexpected news from scientists who have found that steadily knocking back booze all week is a healthier way to consume alcohol than having bouts of high-level consumption followed by periods of abstinence. We should drink like the French, in other words. They sip a few glasses of wine every day of the year, and do jolly well on this liquid fare. Medical records show that mortality rates for consumers of bordeaux, burgundy and beaujolais are better than those of teetotallers. About half a bottle of red wine a day does nicely, it transpires.
But this trend in steady alcohol consumption is not universal. For example, in Northern Ireland, drinkers concentrate their activities at weekends and are more abstemious during the week. Their habits are reflected across Britain and have consequences for our health.
'In Northern Ireland two thirds of consumption takes place on Friday and Saturday night,' Professor Alan Evans from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Queens University told a meeting of the Portman Group, the alcohol industry lobby group that promotes healthy drinking, last week.
When health checks were carried out on a sample of middle-aged Northern Ireland men on Mondays and Tuesdays, it was found that their blood pressures were elevated, but when these checks were done on a Thursday or Friday, their blood pressure had dropped. By contrast, the French show no fluctuations during the week.
And given that high blood pressure is linked to heart disease, this effect may explain the fact that in Northern Ireland the moderate intact of alcohol is not associated with improved health.
Of course, in Northern Ireland the drinks of choice are beer and whisky, while the French take wine, and this might have an effect, Evans acknowledges. Nevertheless, other research suggests the former explanation is the right one.
Figures presented by Professor Morten Cronbaek, at the Centre for Alcohol Research, in Copenhagen, showed that mortality rates were best for those who consumed a steady 14 to 20 units of alcohol a week for men and 7 to 13 units for women. Those who consumed similar amounts, but in bursts, had significantly raised mortalities, while abstainers did worst of all.
'This is not an invitation for people to start drinking more and more alcohol,' said Cronbaek. 'The statistics suggest that women should stick to around 14 units of alcohol a week, and men to 21. However, if they drink that steadily, and do not go on binges, then they will - on average - do better for themselves.'
1 unit = 1 (UK) pint i.e. 20oz or 1 glass of wine.
Why is it that whenever there is an article extolling the benefits of moderate, regular consumption of alcohol, that the authors of these pieces always see fit to slip this disclaimer in at the end?
Well let me say what others are afraid to say. If you are not drinking moderately on a regular basis, please feel free to begin to. If you are drinking heavily, please take it down a notch and leave some for the rest of us.
Thank you and good day!
Buy it by the box and use an empty Big Gulp cup to drink it. :-)
Cirrhosis of the liver is very rare among normal drinkers. It primarily affects people who drink large amounts of liquor over long periods of time.
Yep, yep, yep -- The Breakfast of Champions (K. Vonnegut)
And live in fear like the Fagofrogs too?
What is a unit of alcohol?
One unit of alcohol is 10 ml (1 cl) by volume, or 8 g by weight, of pure alcohol. For example:
A half-pint of average strength beer, cider, or lager (4-5% alcohol by volume) contains one unit. Note: many beers are now stronger than the average 3-4% alcohol by volume.
A small pub measure (25 ml) of spirits (40% alcohol by volume) contains one unit. A standard pub measure (35 ml) of spirits contains one and a half units.
A standard pub measure of fortified wine such as sherry or port (20% alcohol by volume) contains one unit.
A small glass (125 ml) of average strengh wine (12% alcohol by volume) contains one and a half units.
Note: Many wines are stronger - up to 14-15% alcohol by volume. Also, wines are often served in large 175 ml glasses.
A more accurate way of calculating units is as follows. The percentage alcohol by volume (%abv) of any drink equals the number of units in one litre of that drink.
For example: Beer at 6% abv has six units in one litre. If you drink half a litre (500 ml) - just under a pint - then you have had three units.
Wine at 12% abv has 12 units in one litre. If you drink a quarter of a litre (250 ml) - two small glasses, then you have had three units.
Some other examples
Three pints of beer, three times per week, is at least 18 units per week. That is nearly the upper weekly safe limit for a man. However, each drinking session of three pints is at least six units, which is more than the safe limit advised for any one day.
Another example: a 750 ml bottle of 12% wine contains nine units. If you drink two bottles of 12% wine over a week, that is 18 units. This is above the upper safe limit for a woman.
A dinner without wine is like a day without sunshine! Like most things French, the health benefits of red wine have come to us virtually by accident. But accident or not, just about all findings support red wine as a definite health benefit. I'll drink to that... :)
and that reminds me.........I have no wine in the house! No beer either, come to think of it.
My stepdad always said, "stick with the grape."
I guess it's okay to drink like the French as long as it doesn't make you stink like the French.
So what? It's either die from that or die from eating too much fat or..........etc,etc,etc.... and so on and so forth.
Heck, depending on who you listen to Everything is bad for you. We're all doomed.
Btw, Welcome to FR J
We're gonna live long enough to be a burden to our children!