Moderate alcohol consumption

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shpalman
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Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by shpalman » Tue May 18, 2021 8:34 pm

Someone in Relaxation Station was asking about drinking and immunological effects, and so this post was shared. Given that the findings are quite interesting, I've moved it here for folk to discuss

There is no safe amount of alcohol consumption for the brain, with even “moderate” drinking adversely affecting nearly every part of it
Last edited by Stephanie on Wed May 19, 2021 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Adding reason for thread split
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snoozeofreason
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by snoozeofreason » Tue May 18, 2021 8:59 pm

Edward Lear wrote:"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. The human body was knocked up pretty late on the Friday afternoon, with a deadline looming. How well do you expect it to work?

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Grumble » Tue May 18, 2021 9:32 pm

Wrong thread? Definitely interesting but can a friendly mod move it please?
A bit churlish

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Stephanie » Wed May 19, 2021 9:23 am

Grumble wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 9:32 pm
Wrong thread? Definitely interesting but can a friendly mod move it please?
Done, although I don't think it was the wrong thread so much as shpalman responding to another post in the thread that mentioned alcohol
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by lpm » Wed May 19, 2021 9:54 am

I've never understood why people regularly want to make themselves more stupid via alcohol. People seem plenty stupid enough to begin with.

It's nice to go on holiday a couple of times during the year. People don't expect to go on holiday every day. There's a handful of special days when we do fun things, like birthdays and Christmas, but most days are ordinary days.

Yet people seem to think alcohol is an every day of the year kind of thing. Have it just because they like it. Yet the same applies to birthday cake and Christmas presents.

I think the last time I had alcohol was to celebrate the confirmation that Trump had lost in November. Maybe I had some at Christmas, can't remember. I'll go on holiday in a couple of months and will probably have some then. Perhaps at some birthday party.

I'm the normal one when it comes to these luxury events. The rest of you are abnormal.
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Martin Y
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Martin Y » Wed May 19, 2021 10:03 am

I'm like that with chocolate. Has anyone found which organ chocolate shrinks?

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed May 19, 2021 10:24 am

lpm wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 9:54 am
I've never understood why people regularly want to make themselves more stupid via alcohol. People seem plenty stupid enough to begin with.
On the contrary, I'm excessively intelligent and creative. Nobody can keep up with my mind on full-throttle, so I have to give myself a handicap when I want to participate in Planet Stupid.

Being on holiday every day sounds awesome too.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by IvanV » Wed May 19, 2021 10:49 am

lpm wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 9:54 am
I've never understood why people regularly want to make themselves more stupid via alcohol. People seem plenty stupid enough to begin with.
Nor me. I never liked drinking so much I became stupid. But that doesn't mean I have to be abstemious.

I drink a glass or two of nice wine with my dinner most days because I really, really enjoy the taste of it, and the moderate relaxation a modest quantity of alcohol produces. Each bottle is carefully portioned out over several days. It's nowhere near getting stupid type of quantity.

I appreciate that there is research saying there is no safe quantity of alcohol. You can also live longer on a food-restricted diet. But I'd rather enjoy my time on the earth.

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by shpalman » Wed May 19, 2021 11:02 am

Stephanie wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 9:23 am
Grumble wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 9:32 pm
Wrong thread? Definitely interesting but can a friendly mod move it please?
Done, although I don't think it was the wrong thread so much as shpalman responding to another post in the thread that mentioned alcohol
Thanks, and yes it merits its own thread, but also I could have posted e.g. in response to how we all have to drink 124 pints to save the sector which supplies people with that many pints to drink.

Last Saturday I had the first sitting-outside-a-"pub" drink since last summer.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by science_fox » Wed May 19, 2021 11:23 am

That's quite a controversial (and also not logically true - moderate unequal no safe amount) statement. One unit, once in your life will permanently adversely affect your brain?
I've no idea how you'd even begin to measure that compared to the huge changes the brain undergoes anyway.
1 unit 1/year ditto ?
1 unit 1/month ditto ?

Like radiation, "toxic chemicals" and most things there very much is a safe limit below which no detectable changes can be noticed. Although I wouldn't like to be the analyst trying to determine what the limit should be, which may vary by an order of magnitude? between people.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Martin Y » Wed May 19, 2021 11:54 am

Yes, that's an interesting detail of what "no safe level" really means. It appears to be saying there's no detectable threshold at which the effect disappears (or reverses). Which ain't the same thing as no level below which no harm can be detected.

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by shpalman » Wed May 19, 2021 12:21 pm

I suppose it would mean that if you plotted harm versus quantity the line would go through the origin. Previously it's been argued that small amounts were even beneficial.

Of course one unit, once in your life will have a tiny effect which in practice won't be measurable. The line isn't a step function either.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 19, 2021 12:37 pm

I stopped drinking a very long time ago. Now I prefer my empty calories in the form of chocolate and biscuits. I'm not sure I understand the word 'moderate' though. Isn't that what Steph does here?

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed May 19, 2021 12:40 pm

snoozeofreason wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 8:59 pm
Edward Lear wrote:"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."
IQ Klaxon! Actually it was Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Are_O ... 0again.%22
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 19, 2021 12:45 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:40 pm
snoozeofreason wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 8:59 pm
Edward Lear wrote:"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."
IQ Klaxon! Actually it was Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Are_O ... 0again.%22
IQ klaxon? Is that because your IQ has been affected by immoderate drinking?

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by bmforre » Wed May 19, 2021 12:47 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:37 pm
I stopped drinking a very long time ago. Now I prefer my empty calories in the form of chocolate and biscuits.
You can risk getting wholesome wholegrain in some biscuits.
I'm not sure I understand the word 'moderate' though. Isn't that what Steph does here?
I thought that was what heavy water does in a Candu reactor?
See also: Automated translation.

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed May 19, 2021 12:52 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:21 pm
I suppose it would mean that if you plotted harm versus quantity the line would go through the origin. Previously it's been argued that small amounts were even beneficial.
I thought the previous argument was that small quantities have benefits in longevity. Is there any evidence that these effects on the brain kill you? Otherwise I don't see the contradiction.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by bmforre » Wed May 19, 2021 12:53 pm

Ethanol Content of Various Foods and Soft Drinks ...

From Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 19, 2021 12:58 pm

bmforre wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:53 pm
Ethanol Content of Various Foods and Soft Drinks ...

From Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
It says:

Your session has timed out. Please go back to the article page and click the PDF link again.

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Wed May 19, 2021 1:23 pm

The study, which is still to be peer-reviewed
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Gfamily » Wed May 19, 2021 1:25 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:58 pm
bmforre wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:53 pm
Ethanol Content of Various Foods and Soft Drinks ...

From Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
It says:

Your session has timed out. Please go back to the article page and click the PDF link again.
Looks like you can open the pdf from here
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by monkey » Wed May 19, 2021 1:31 pm

I'm pretty sure that getting old is worse for your brain (for adults). Everyone should stop doing that.

here's a link to the pdf: clicky

I think the biggest problem with the claim of "no safe level" is that the subjects were asked about alcohol consumption at the time of the scan. It doesn't look at drinking history. Someone who drank binge by the bucket when young but now hardly ever does may have damage, but would count as a moderate drinker. Also, their plots don't look particularly linear to me close to no alcohol intake, but they say their stats say it is, which confuses me, but I only skimmed the paper. I'm sure someone else knows more about that than I do.

ETA: beaten on posting the link

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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by lpm » Wed May 19, 2021 1:33 pm

It's amazing isn't it, how capitalism always discovers stuff we buy is good for us. And those studies are always unimpeachable.

How strange any studies that discover stuff we buy is bad for us are promptly found to be flawed.

You'd think it would average out, just by chance. But no.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed May 19, 2021 1:36 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:45 pm
Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:40 pm
snoozeofreason wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 8:59 pm
IQ Klaxon! Actually it was Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Are_O ... 0again.%22
IQ klaxon? Is that because your IQ has been affected by immoderate drinking?
Probably, or eyesight from too much... But at 62, I say f.ck it.
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Re: Moderate alcohol consumption

Post by lpm » Wed May 19, 2021 2:17 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 10:24 am
Being on holiday every day sounds awesome too.
Coming back to this. Yes, it sounds awesome. But it isn't. Self esteem and self-identity is tied to work, with further correlation of self esteem to happiness. People who don't work for £ tend to replace that activity with "pseudo-work" - activities that give a sense of achievement and purpose. Lazing on a sunbed is great for a week but few humans seem to be able to do it for a lifetime.

The unhappiest people I know are the wealthy "ladies who lunch" who are constantly trapped in a loop of demand-complaint-dissatisfaction-demand. They don't enjoy going out to lunch because a restaurant meal is never perfect. It's rarity that, for most of us, makes a restaurant meal good enough to be extremely enjoyable.

It's hard to split out choice from addiction with products like alcohol. Not talking about physical dependency, which is a thing at high doses, but the moderate drinking levels of casual "normal" drinking. The whole psychological addiction arena is poorly understood but it's unlikely that pleasure is the purpose of drinking for large numbers of the population. There's no rarity to the experience but there is an endless loop of dissatisfaction. When you're permanently on holiday you get no satisfaction from the holiday; likewise weekly alcohol appears to give little reward.
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