We’ve been told enjoying a nice glass of wine is beneficial for our health, helping to lower the risk of heart disease and even extend life expectancy. However, new research has come out that suggests that this may not be the case after all.
A team of researchers based at Boston Medical Center have recently published a study that involved analyzing past data and studies from deaths caused by alcohol consumption and found that the past studies and analysis were flawed. The researchers question the comparisons made for people with different drinking levels – there is a lot of emphasis on moderate drinkers but it is unclear who these drinkers are being compared against. Moderate drinkers tend to be more sociable and more highly educated which can lead to a healthier life. It’s these factors that haven’t been taken into account when analyzing moderate drinkers – in other words their healthiness may not have much to do with how much wine they were drinking.
In past studies it has seemed that people who don’t drink at all are less healthy than moderate drinkers but this also may be down to the fact that people who don’t drink may do so because of poor health to begin with therefore there is no real link to the amount of wine consumption, according to NPR. Dr. Timothy Naimi who published the study, claims that past studies have been conducted to make drinking alcohol look beneficial when this may not be the case. He says it’s “extremely unlikely” that moderate drinkers did well in the studies because of drinking alcohol.
It’s almost homeopathic amounts of alcohol. So it’s extremely unlikely that it’s the alcohol that’s making them look good
The researchers further add that their new findings show that people who drink 2 or 3 glasses of wine a week are the healthiest but that is probably due to the fact that it’s such a small amount that the wine actually has no effect on their general health. The chances are they were already healthy to begin with as reported in New York Post.
The study is backed up by other researchers who believe that the hype around wine being beneficial for our health is misleading and that even if it was healthy for heart function, it’s not helping with cardiovascular benefits. Jennie Connor from the University of Otago in New Zealand says that it’s “ridiculous” for people to think drinking wine regularly is somehow a kind of medication for optimum health.
Even if it were true, the idea that people are going to drink only one or two drinks a day as medication for the rest of their lives is just ridiculous. We’ve been sold an idea that’s incoherent.
The study has been published in The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.