Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health

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Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health

Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health

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This was very British. And felt extremely careful. Like the writer had in mind his audience of football hooligans. Maybe that was true. Early in the second half of the book, Professor Nutt relays some social the history of alcohol. One interesting part discussed how "...ancient Persians would only finally make a decision after the issue at hand had been discussed both sober and drunk," since being drunk brought out one's creativity. And though I knew alcohol was ancient, I didn't know that "It's only been in the last millennium that it has been banned by some religious groups, for example in Islam." [The irony isn't lost on this reader that modern "Persia" now Islamic.] A world-renowned authority on the science of alcohol exposes its influence on our health, mood, sleep, emotions, and productivity -- and what we can and should do to moderate our intake. I realize this has turned into more of a critique than a book review. You may just want to read the first three and last three of the following paragraphs if you want the short version of my review.

Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health

But just how bad is alcohol? Well Nutt dives into the brain and bodily science to describe it's implications in over 200 diseases. Nutt evens names alcohol as the most damaging drug to society. Drink? holds the key to all the questions you want (and need) to know the answers to, covering mental health, sleep, hormones, fertility and addiction.

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A good way to drink consciously is to count your drinks and plan them for the week. If you know you will be drinking 2 nights in a given week, and then plan to have no more than 4 drinks on each of those nights, you are more likely to not exceed/overdrink. Still: it had good stuff in it, here and there. And if you know nothing about the subject, maybe you can start with this. He will illuminate our minds on what 'responsible drinking' truly means and equip us with the knowledge we need to make rational, informed decisions about our consumption now and in the future. A lot of people have the believe that a small amount of alcohol is good for your health. This is particularly prevalent in France, where people believe a glass of wine a day is good for you. But the science so far has been clear: "A 2018 review in The Lancet, one of the leading medical journals, was called—pretty definitively—"No Level of Alcohol Consumption Improves Health." Their conclusion was that, on balance, any protection would be more than canceled out by the negative effects. "

Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health

Provide a nonjudgmental willingness to assist the reader in minimizing harm if they decide to drink once informed. David Nutt is an English neuropsychopharmacologist who’s research has primarily focused on the (mostly harmful) effects of drugs (including alcohol and nicotine) on the brain.Although one shouldn't expect 100% definitive guidelines, I'm bothered by some contradictions. At one point he says, ""...don't drink at all - because there are no health benefits" and "...no level of drinking is actually beneficial to health." However, one whole chapter (8) is about "The Social Benefits of Alcohol." Granted, health and social benefits are different, but he expounds in so many places how alcohol provides social benefits, which others can argue can positively affect health benefits. He concludes that "...But if you want the sociability benefits alcohol brings, it's a different story. In that case, you need to decide what risks you want to accept...." Teeter-totters go in both directions; he implies that the benefits of alcohol abstinence and social drinking have an inverse relationship, so one has to choose, to "balance out the pleasure you gain." Further into the book he says, "...that the amount of alcohol optimal to provide the protection ["partial protective effect on cardiovascular health - The Lancet"] appears to be very low - about one unit a day." So there are some health benefits; he just wants us to know "...that the benefit to the heart does not outweigh all the other risks of alcohol...." And remember the reference to alcoholic dementia above? Later in the book, he says, "...low levels of alcohol consumption - that is between one and ten drinks a week - reduced the risk of dementia. In fact, it appears that being teetotal may raise your risk of dementia...." He also includes "...a 2017 review [that] concluded that light to moderate drinking does reduce the risk of diabetes," and that report IS cited.

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