Balloon Juicers- Our Time Has Finally Come

I’ll drink to that:

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one’s risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers. (See pictures of booze under a microscope.)

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don’t have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems.

But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life? It’s true that those who abstain from alcohol tend to be from lower socioeconomic classes, since drinking can be expensive. And people of lower socioeconomic status have more life stressors — job and child-care worries that might not only keep them from the bottle but also cause stress-related illnesses over long periods. (They also don’t get the stress-reducing benefits of a drink or two after work.)

But even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables — socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on — the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers.

I’ll be having tomatoes, basil, and mozarella with a drizzle of olive oil and a glass or three of pinot noir. Doctor’s orders.

*** Update ***

This is sort of related, I guess, but made me laugh:






99 replies
  1. 1
    jinxtigr says:

    What if you got all fucked up and hadda give it up? O_O

    Moot point, ‘cos I gotta do what I gotta do, even if it means DOOOM, DOOOOOOOOM! :D

  2. 2
    Wag says:

    Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability

    As a physician, i agree with everyting stated above except the red wine part. The red wine stuff is mostly marketing.

  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    Like the alcoholic upon returning from the doctor shares the good news with his bar buddies that he only has 10 percent liver failure, with 90 percent to go.

  4. 4
    morzer says:

    On the subject of alcoholism and related issues, has anyone noticed that the GOP are going to try shutting down the government, if Dick Morris has his way:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....hp?ref=fpa

    Worked out really well, first time around, as I recall.

  5. 5
    jacy says:

    Woo-hoo! Finally some good news. I will celebrate by drinking more often. I’ve been busy, but you have to make time for your health.

  6. 6
    Chat Noir says:

    I always have a lime with my Tanqueray and Tonic to help ward off scurvy.

  7. 7
    taylormattd says:

    woo hoo. I knew it.

  8. 8
    stuckinred says:

    mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers.

    And for people who ran at a very heavy pace for 30 years and then quit?

  9. 9
    jl says:

    @Wag:

    “As a physician, i agree with everyting stated above except the red wine part. The red wine stuff is mostly marketing.”

    Mmmmmm… beer.

    thanks, doc!

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life?

    What do they have to live for?

    I’m going to have my anti-malarial treatment now. Quinine in the tonic is a lifesaver.

  11. 11
    stuckinred says:

    @Wag: I assume you also agree there are other reasons to quit drinking besides longevity?

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    I’m gonna call bullshit. I don’t have any basis for saying so other than I’ve seen enough flawed studies relating x to health to assume on first blush that anything that provides correlation without real evidence of causation and runs contrary to general wisdom (and hasn’t been verified in an independent study) is bullshit.

  13. 13
    General Stuck says:

    The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers

    LOL, Straight from the Coors research division of bullshit.

  14. 14
    stuckinred says:

    @Martin: I’ll give you some anecdote. I’m 60, I came from an intense drug and alcohol lifestyle and hung it up 17 years ago. I have lost 6 friends from that time, all directly from alcohol abuse. Those of us who have quit have our share of aches and pains but I don’t know exactly who it is that is going to outlive us because they keep drinkin.

  15. 15
    jwb says:

    @morzer: I would say it will be a folly of overreach, just like last time, except that this time Fox will take great care to gin things up prior to the shutdown and we can’t count on any of the other news media to play honest brokers. That and the fact that if the goopers take the House, they’d have elected some truly batshit crazy members who will be perfectly willing to shut the country down for two years, I’d say it has an actual chance.

    On the other hand, the more these sorts of plans leak out before the November election, the less likely the goopers will in fact take the House.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Martin:

    Excuse me, but the article contains pics of booze under a microscope. Now, that is Science, my friend. Case closed.

    Seriously, there is by now a quite a literature on the topic of the health effects of moderate versus no and heavy drinking. It may have started with research on the so-called ‘French Paradox’ which is about the fact that on paper the French diet looks not very heart healthy, but they had less heart diesease

    (which reminds me to look up how the French Paradox is doing. I hope it is holding up well, since then we can have very happy BJ posts on the benefits of butter, fancy sauces, cheese.)

    Edit: forgot to say that enough of the studies find a benefit to moderate (emphasis on MODERATE) to keep the research going.

    WARNING: I have doubts that the BJ definition of ‘moderate drinking’ would survive scrutiny. So, watch the plusses, BJers.

  17. 17
    cleek says:

    i’ll drink to that.

  18. 18
    Gus says:

    @Martin: Mind your own business. Good, my three beers a day are good for me!

  19. 19
    stuckinred says:

    @jl: People are going to do what they are going to do and they can find “research” to support any of it.

  20. 20
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to go on the wagon.

  21. 21
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Martin:

    I’m gonna call bullshit. I don’t have any basis for saying so other than I’ve seen enough flawed studies relating x to health to assume on first blush that anything that provides correlation without real evidence of causation and runs contrary to general wisdom (and hasn’t been verified in an independent study) is bullshit.

    I’m sorry, but I could read what you wrote over all this drunk.

  22. 22
    JR says:

    Old family story:

    My grandfather and his cousin, an Irish woman, were talking at a restaurant. She ordered a bottle of wine. He asked, “hey, do they let you cork a bottle and take it home with you?” She looked at him with disgust and said, “Cork it? There’s only three fookin’ glasses innit!”

  23. 23
    kdaug says:

    Gah. Anyone else tried Umeboshi? They’re some weird Japanese pickled plums, (but don’t think happy sweet, think unforgivably nasty/salty).

    But it’s odd – you eat the first one, and you’re like “Oh god, that’s horrible. Never again!”. Then the next day you feel compelled to eat another one, just to see if it was as horrible as you remember from the day before. It is.

    But you notice you feel oddly “better”, in a weird way. I’ve had two of the nasty fuckers today, and will likely down a third before bed. Food is weird. It’s also medicine.

  24. 24
    jwb says:

    @jl:”WARNING: I have doubts that the BJ definition of ‘moderate drinking’ would survive scrutiny. So, watch the plusses, BJers.”

    Any amount that leaves you upright at the end of the evening would constitute moderate.

  25. 25
    stuckinred says:

    @kdaug: was the first one free?

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    @jl: Sorry, to be clear, I’m not questioning the moderate vs no alcohol argument. I think the case for moderate consumption has a decent bit of evidence behind it at this stage, and I can see the physiological case for it. I question the heavy drinkers vs abstainers part. That one is going to need a lot more work to convince me, much as my very Irish blood would welcome the news.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    @Martin: I think one of the things the current study is saying is that this is a very robust finding which has long been shown in every statistical analysis of a relation between life and health outcomes and reported alcohol use. The new bit is the noting of the robust correlation between ‘heavy’ use and better life / health results from non-drinkers. Though of course the study’s definition of ‘heavy’ is not the type of ‘heavy’ that your average person hearing the phrase ‘heavy drinker’ is going to use.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chat Noir: The lime wards off scurvy; the tonic wards off malaria; and the gin wards off sobriety. Win, win, and win.

  29. 29
    stuckinred says:

    @Martin: Have you read “A Drinking Life” by Pete Hamill? No whiny apologies just a story of an alcoholic Irish family and one guy who looked down the bar with Breslin and Mailer and said. . .enough of this bullshit.

    The social component does interest me. I still hang in a large artsy group and it seems like it is impossible for more than two of them to get together without drinking.

  30. 30
    Little Boots says:

    VINDICATION!

    Okay, PARTIAL VINDICATION!

  31. 31
    Annie says:

    @MikeJ:

    Years ago, I was in Istanbul when the earthquake hit. I was staying with a friend from the British Embassy. All Embassy personnel had to immediately report to the British consulate. Upon arriving we were herded to the back terrace to spend the night. True to form, Embassy personnel passed around gin and tonics. When I started laughing, one official looked at me quite seriously and said that gin and tonics were included in all British survival packs…I just said “Indeed” and spent the night under a blanket on a lawn chair getting pretty trashed.

  32. 32
    Stillwater says:

    Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day

    Got in just under the wire.

  33. 33
    quaint irene says:

    the GOP are going to try shutting down the government, if Dick Morris has his way:

    It puzzles me why anyone would take anything this Dick-wad had to say seriously.

  34. 34
    chaseyourtail says:

    I’m watching “No Reservations” right now…what a coinkidink….love Anthony Bourdain.

  35. 35
    sven says:

    Socia1ism sh@es vyagra caseeno

    I just opened a bottle of Weihenstephaner,

    for the next few minutes I will be ‘Drinking in Moderation’

    (and then you can bet I won’t be!)

  36. 36
    jinxtigr says:

    I think some of us alkies/addicts got it backwards. We get MORE compulsive and crazy when we drink, and burn out quickly, otherwise we wouldn’t have to give it up. Then, the only way to stay stopped is to chill the hell out- which is what drinking does for NORMAL people.

    So it’s all good :)

  37. 37
    kdaug says:

    @stuckinred: Oh God, no, they’re expensive as hell, but the wife’s on a vegan kick right now, replete with exotic recipes nobody’s heard of in this hemisphere.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    This is why those of us in the Humanities love science.

    Though following Cole’s recliner body catastrophe post, I think he needs to keep his cell phone close to the chair. Maybe on top of the mini fridge.

  39. 39
    demo woman says:

    All I know is if the Republicans sweep and keep coming up with scary brown people stuff, alcohol sales will increase.

  40. 40
    slag says:

    As a non-drinker, I can only say that these anecdotes about Lazy Boy injuries don’t exactly make longevity sound like the better option.

  41. 41
    pcbedamned says:

    @stuckinred:

    Congrats to You!!!
    I too gave up the lifestyle and have been ‘in recovery’ for 17 years (Oct. 4 to be exact). Well, except for a one day slip back in April, but that is a whole other story.

    I know I cannot drink any alcohol, therefore I don’t. My question is, what about us Coke drinkers? Where’s the study on that?!?

  42. 42
    Smedley says:

    @Martin:

    As you said, you have NO basis….

    Seems there a few other studies out there that offer basis.
    Have you completed your study yet?

    Until then I’ll go with the majority of studies.

  43. 43
    MikeJ says:

    I just hope this study isn’t calling for us to go drinnking with David Broder. Although I will admit that’s the only way I could stand to be around him.

  44. 44
    Hann1bal says:

    Whenever I read news articles about scientific studies, I think back to this comic and always, always use massive amounts of NaCl.

  45. 45
    stuckinred says:

    @stuckinred: @pcbedamned: Me too 17, I didn’t do the program but I’ve been lucky, no desire.

  46. 46
    Stillwater says:

    @Martin: I’m gonna call bullshit. I don’t have any basis for saying so

    Woo Hooooo! Pour another one hombre! I like the way you argue!

  47. 47
    abscam says:

    @Martin: Your comments are not in the spirit of the blog, therefore…pththththhththththt!

  48. 48
    jl says:

    What a bunch of killjoys.

    Red wine happies up your longevity genes. Drink up (up to 3 standard drinkies a day). I think one standard wine drink is 4 fluid ounces, which probably falls below the lower limit of detectable consumption for many (most?) in the BJ community.

    Genes Nutr. 2010 Mar;5(1):55-60. Epub 2009 Sep 4.
    Longevity nutrients resveratrol, wines and grapes.
    Lekli I, Ray D, Das DK.
    Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030-1110 USA.
    Abstract
    A mild-to-moderate wine drinking has been linked with reduced cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular risk as well as reduced risk due to cancer. The reduced risk of cardiovascular disease associated with wine drinking is popularly known as French Paradox. A large number of reports exist in the literature indicating that resveratrol present in wine is primarily responsible for the cardioprotection associated with wine. Recently, resveratrol was shown to extend life span in yeast through the activation of longevity gene SirT1, which is also responsible for the longevity mediated by calorie restriction. This review summarizes the reports available on the functional and molecular biological aspects of resveratrol, wine and grapes in potentiating the longevity genes.

    Edit, just found another review that says the biomarkers start to fade out with more than one drink. OK, maybe just one drink a day. Cole might want to consider that, if he is hasn’t finished off the first bottle yet.

  49. 49

    I saw that article and was surprised to learn that a “heavy drinnker” is one who consumes three alcoholic beverages a day. I thought it was two.

    * cheers! *

  50. 50
    stuckinred says:

    @jinxtigr: aite den

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    With my work schedule a ‘moderate’ drinking course would put me in a much more alcohol-belabored lifestyle. With just a few hours after work, 3 or more drinks just eliminates any but the first chore or two and then I’ll be waking up 3 hours earlier.

    But if we were saner, with more rational hours and vacation times, and I could afford to go get lunch and have a beer (oddly most places of employment frown upon bringing alcoholic beverages to work) then 3 or something a day is really nothing.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    @Southern Beale: three standard drinks for the guys. Two standard drinks for the gals is the usual definition I see.

    We need to see what Cole’s and DougJ’s average ‘standard drinks’ are. The answers will have to be more specific than ‘whatever’s handy’.

  53. 53
    MikeJ says:

    @jl: This is why god created the Reidel Vinum XL cocktail glass. 9.5 oz of martini goodness means I can easily stick to three a day. And I like Reidel glasses. Lovely balance, wonderful feel on the mouth.

  54. 54
    Amir_Khalid says:

    I’m with Martin. All Time cites from the study is a statistical correlation, as other commenters have noted. (I followed the link but did not get access to the paper itself.) What did the teetotalers in the study die of? How, if at all, did not drinking make them more vulnerable to these causes of death? The claim that abstaining from drink makes you die sooner is counter-intuitive enough to make a good story, and it’s newsworthy if you can establish a cause. If you haven’t established a cause, all you have is a curious but likely meaningless coincidence.

    I call the Time story a Journalism FAIL. An all-too-common one in medical and science reporting.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @MikeJ: Sounds good. Except a standard drink for hard likker is more like 1.5 fluid ounces. Which is fine with me, since I can’t choke down more than that amount of hard likker.

  56. 56
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Oh god, this is great news. Now for the bacon exoneration..

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Martin: Yer gonna die soon so who cares what you think?

  59. 59
    stuckinred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: One might say the same about you.

  60. 60
    Stillwater says:

    @General Stuck: LOL, Straight from the Coors research division of bullshit.

    You need a drink just to get your sense of humor back!!

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    I read through the article and saw the usual caveat: it seems to work this way for men. Women, not so much, especially now that they’ve linked heavy drinking with breast cancer.

    Sorry, ladies, this study does not apply to us. As usual. Feh.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    Been a light drinker, been a heavy drinker, am an almost no drinker. Don’t like the heavy drinker part anymore. Don’t have enough money to drink what I like so now the almost no drinker. Other than taking a little longer to relax at the end of the day (maybe 5-10 minutes) I don’t find any difference.
    But maybe that’s all it takes.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @stuckinred:
    Here’s the part that no one is going to want to see about the abstainers dying earlier:

    Evaluation identified several confounding factors linked to alcohol abstention. They found that a significant number of abstainers (teetotalers) in their study sample were former-problem drinkers, as well as people with health problems and health risk factors, such as poor physical activity and a high degree of tobacco smoking, compared to the moderate drinker’s sample.

    IOW, most of the abstainers don’t drink because of pre-existing health problems. Correlation, it is not causation.

  64. 64

    @demo woman:

    I spent a good deal of the Bush Administration intoxicated for this very reason.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    @Amir_Khalid: If the result is robust and counter-intuitive, that is a reason for scientific curiosity. If it’s a robust result which is contrary to both common beliefs and prior medical assumptions, it’s almost certainly not “likely [to be] meaningless” but it is possibly inexplicable.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    Jeebus, Marcy and Jehosephat, what a bunch of scoffers. They’ve been working on the biological mechanisms.

    No drinks for the scoffers!

    Current Atherosclerosis Reports. 2008 Dec;10(6):536-43.

    Alcohol consumption: risks and benefits.
    Mukamal KJ, Rimm EB.

    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care Research Program, 1309 Beacon Street, 2nd Floor, Brookline, MA 02446, USA. kmukamal@bidmc.harvard.edu

    Abstract
    Alcohol has had a long and complicated role in human society and health. Excessive use of alcohol causes enormous morbidity and mortality worldwide, but the health effects of alcohol use within recommended guidelines are diverse and complex. Established effects include increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and antithrombotic activity, providing plausible mechanisms for the observed association of moderate drinking with lower risk of coronary heart disease but higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke. However, moderate drinking increases sex steroid hormone levels and may interfere with folate metabolism, both of which are potential mechanisms for the observed associations of moderate drinking with several forms of cancer, particularly breast and colorectal. Genetic susceptibility to the effects of alcohol on cancer and coronary heart disease also differs across the population. Recommendations regarding moderate drinking must be individualized to reflect the potentially competing effects of alcohol on several chronic diseases.

  67. 67
    Stillwater says:

    @El Cid: and I could afford to go get lunch and have a beer

    Yo no intiendo. You say you work such long hours that you can’t drink, yet you can’t afford a beer at lunch?

    What gives brother?

  68. 68
    Comrade Colett Collaboratrice says:

    So why does my Doctor of Girl Stuff keep telling me I need to cut back to an average of one per day? (My current average is more like 2/day.) She’s a party gal, too, so it’s not just a desire to be a kill-joy.

  69. 69
    El Cid says:

    @Mnemosyne: If you go further forward, the same summaries include this:

    Even so, after taking into account the confounding factors, the researchers found that moderate drinker was still more likely to live longer than the abstainer or heavy drinker.

    That means controlling for socioeconomic, demographic, health, lifestyles, and other variables.

    The result is that the health benefit associated with drinking over non-drinking remains when other suggested factors — though hugely important factors — are controlled.

    From the article abstract:

    However, even after adjusting for all covariates, abstainers and heavy drinkers continued to show increased mortality risks of 51 and 45%, respectively, compared to moderate drinkers.

  70. 70
    Gus says:

    Meh, something’s gonna kill me. I’d rather go out with a Summit Extra Pale Ale in my hand.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    @Stillwater: I could afford a beer, on a routine basis, if I were just going out for a beer. I just couldn’t afford to regularly eat out at something other than a complete crap restaurant, and the reason I’m working so much is to keep up with other, non-lunch-related expenses. I don’t really have the time or inclination to rush out from work out to a bar, slam down one quick overpriced beer, rush back to eat my refrigerator lunch, and to do so regularly.

  72. 72
    slag says:

    @El Cid: Personally, I suspect that my untimely teetotaler demise will be the result of stress induced from dealing with the traditional 2am drunkard parade.

  73. 73
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @stuckinred: Thanks. So the “abstainers” in the study includes not just lifelong teetotalers, but also a significant number of people who gave up drinking because of the damage already done. So for all we know, maybe drinking did lead some of those abstainers to an early death.

    Also among the abstainers are people with other health problems that might bring on an early death anyway, like a heart condition or a heavy smoking habit. The researchers’ conclusion is weaker than Time says, weaker than a magazine for adult readers should base a speculative article on.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @stuckinred: No sir, old timer. I am drinking the RDA of alcohol.

  75. 75
    Molly McRae says:

    Hello….

    Alcohol is an antiseptic. Drinking it is bound to kill some of the bugs we swallow.

    See Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire on apples, Johnny Appleseed and early settlers’ preference for hard cider over water.

    If this study is correct, I would bet that had the temperance movement had not coincided with advances in public health and hygiene our population would be a good deal less.

  76. 76
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Also among the abstainers are people with other health problems that might bring on an early death anyway, like a heart condition or a heavy smoking habit. The researchers’ conclusion is weaker than Time says, weaker than a magazine for adult readers should base a speculative article on.

    As has been pointed out, they say that they control for these factors. If that’s the case*, the fact that the population of abstainers doesn’t make as much difference as you might think.

    There are two ways that the difference in population could still matter. The first is if there is some other reason, that is not known and controlled for, why the population of abstainers is different from the population of drinkers, it can lead to erroneous conclusions.

    The second is that, if the subpopulations within the abstainers group are too small to produce statistical significance on their own, the overall findings can lack significance. If you are going to control for those who were previously heavy drinkers and those with prior health conditions, there must be a sufficient number of previously healthy, never heavy drinkers in the population to produce significance even if they were the only ones you used. This is one of the main reasons that so many health studies aren’t valid for women; there just weren’t enough of them in the sample.

    And a third, I guess. They could also screw up applying the controls. Controlling for variables is a lot harder than it sounds, and can be done wrong pretty easily.

  77. 77
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mnemosyne: It isn’t enough that you live longer on average than men, is it? You suck.

  78. 78
    Delia says:

    For the past ten years or so I’ve abstained because alcohol’s become a migraine trigger for me. I could drink, I suppose, but then I’d feel like shooting myself, which would put me into the high mortality category.

  79. 79
    stuckinred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Glad to hear it.

  80. 80
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @Delia: Wimp.

  81. 81
    Nylund says:

    The old job ended, but the new one hasn’t started yet, just a minor period without a paycheck, but long enough that I had to make some budget cuts, including alcohol. No beer with the ball game on TV and no wine with the dinner.

    MY BODY IS FREAKING OUT. Its bringing up long forgotten memories of when I kicked heroin way back in the days of my troubled youth. That’s an exaggeration. It feel more like when I quit smoking, but it is visceral.

    Its actually kinda worrying me and made me realize that I haven’t gone more than a few days without a drink in something like 15 years.

    On the plus side, I have lost a couple pounds by cutting out those calories from my diet.

  82. 82
    Allison W. says:

    lower class abstains the most? really? so why are lower income ‘hoods littered with liquor stores?

  83. 83
    Martin says:

    @Amir_Khalid: Yes, this. How long have we been trying to debunk the vaccines cause autism shit? How about the EM causes leukemia shit? No matter how deep the single study is and what they claim they controlled for, I’m not going to buy into this without peer confirmation at a minimum and ultimately causality.

    Correlation without causation in a single study is only one step removed from ‘the tooth fairy left you the quarter’. I need more.

  84. 84
    Ruckus says:

    @Allison W.:
    They aren’t, it’s just that that’s all that will set up shop in crappy neighborhoods. It’s not that you see more, you just see less of any other kinds of stores. At least that’s what I saw in south central LA.

  85. 85
    Cain says:

    @Nylund:

    Its actually kinda worrying me and made me realize that I haven’t gone more than a few days without a drink in something like 15 years.

    Dude.. that’s wrong.. you probably need to cut back. You should never drink so much that you’re body is craving it.. but then again you seem like a pretty strong person and is able to kick habits.. heroin and smoking? damn..!

    cain

  86. 86
    Amir_Khalid says:

    Bring me champagne when I’m thirsty
    Bring me a reefer when I want to get high
    Bring me my woman when I’m lonely
    And set her right here by my side

    — Muddy Waters

  87. 87
    ms badger says:

    @Chat Noir: Chat noir – my father, raised by his CTU (Christian Temporance Union = all you youngsters, look it up) grandmother, drank. And justified it because he got malaria in North Africa in WWII. He said the quinine helped the malaria thingy and she believed him.

    So much for the CTU grasp of the obvious.

  88. 88
    jimBOB says:

    The “french paradox” only seems paradoxical because of the zombie lie that dietary fat is linked to heart disease. It isn’t.

    In fact, no clinical trial on reducing saturated fat intake has ever shown a reduction in heart disease. Some have shown the exact opposite

  89. 89
    jimBOB says:

    Well, my other comment is in moderation. I’ll just note that a few years back when my heart started seizing up, I actually tried to start drinking after a lifetime of abstaining. Then I remembered why I abstained: booze tastes so awful to me that I’d rather die years earlier than have to ingest that crap.

  90. 90
    fraught says:

    @Delia: “Delia’s gone, one more round.”

  91. 91
    AnnaN says:

    Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.

    Really? Because I thought that everyone’s mortality rate was 100%.

    This reminds me of the time I started a sentence with the words: “If I die…”

    I was probably drunk at the time.

  92. 92
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @AnnaN: The idea that drinking can actually prevent death does sound just a little bit too good to be true.

  93. 93
    Ailuridae says:

    To hit the beer blogging part of the post …

    Oktoberfests starting hitting the stores here. I picked up a six of the Left Hand Marzen Lager. It was especially excellent and I highly recommend it.

  94. 94

    So I’m gonna die early. Eh. So be it. I have never thought I would live a long life, anyway. I drink at most one drink every couple weeks, partly because I’m allergic to alcohol (hard liquor is the most tolerable for me) and partly because I just don’t like the taste of booze. See y’all at my funeral.

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    frosty says:

    @Nylund: Random question out of curiosity: What was tougher to quit? Heroin or nicotine?

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Not to step on your gloom party ;-) but the conclusions probably don’t apply to women since heavy alcohol consumption is linked to breast cancer — three or more drinks a day is as bad as a pack of cigarettes for your breast health.

    Fortunately for us female light drinkers, moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better health outcomes only for men.

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    drunken hausfrau says:

    Ah… my kind of post!!! Thank you, John Cole.

    cheers!

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    @Mnemosyne: Damn it! You ruined my swoon diva moment. But, of course, I should have realized it was based on men (as most health studies are). Wheeee! I’mma gonna outlive you all, bitchez!

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    Sheila says:

    Maybe, very generally speaking, non-drinkers live less long because they are the kind of people who deny themselves pleasures in life with the idea that this increases their righteousness, when really, what this might be doing is decreasing their interest in life and thus their life force. There is a rather sweet quote from George Eliot’s Middlemarch that might be relevant here.

    “The best piety is to enjoy — when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth’s character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight — in art or in anything else.” (e.g. alcohol, perhaps?)

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