Will a drink a day keep the doctor away?

We’ve been told for years that a nutritious apple a day helps to keep the doctor away. But could alcohol have the same result during this New Year?

Or, is alcohol a wolf in sheep’s clothing, detrimental to our well-being? I recently mentioned during a talk that I believed that alcohol in moderation was the best medicine ever invented. The audience responded with a big applause. But was it justified?

Critics damn alcohol because some people abuse it. I agree when people are killed by drunken drivers. But no one bans cars because some idiots cause needless deaths. My research on alcohol dates back many years.

Why? Because I’ve always enjoyed a moderate drink and wanted to know if it was evil or medicinal. In 1981, Dr. Arthur Klasky, chief of cardiology at the Kaiser Permanente Center in California, said, “There is no evidence that one or two drinks a day is harmful. There is fairly strong evidence that alcohol may decrease the chance of heart attack.”

Dr. Charles Hennekens at The Harvard Medical School agreed. He reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that patients who consumed either four ounces of liquor, 12 ounces of wine or 40 ounces of beer or less a day had fewer coronary deaths than non-drinkers.

Another researcher, Dr. Joseph Barboniak from the College of Medicine of Wisconsin, studied the coronary arteries of 2,000 patients. He concluded alcohol helps to clear the rust out of the heart’s arteries.

I like to remember this study. Researchers collected 100 identical twins with only one major difference. One twin was a moderate drinker, the other a teetotaler and their health was followed for years. Finally the project had to be discontinued. Why? Because all the non-drinkers had died! Moderate amounts decrease the bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Possibly more important, alcohol makes blood platelets, tiny particles that are part of the blood coagulation process, more slippery so they’re less likely to form a fatal blood clot. There are also over 20 studies that show moderate drinkers live longer than teetotalers and those who abuse alcohol. Other researchers disagree. They say the alcohol-coronary relationship is just another gimmick. In effect, it’s similar to theories suggesting that corn oil, brewer’s yeast and garlic are effective preventive measures.

Other critics contend that personality is more important than alcohol consumption.

For instance, relaxed people have fewer heart attacks and they’re also moderate drinkers. On the other hand, Type A individuals, who want to conquer the world, are often heavy drinkers. What about those who have survived a heart attack?

If this event destroyed a significant amount of cardiac muscle, then the pumping action of the heart has lost some strength. The last thing needed is the loss of more strength resulting in congestive heart failure.

Studies show too that excessive drinking does damage cardiac muscle. This is why drinking days should cease. Others suggest that if there are no symptoms of failure, ‘moderate’ drinking is a reasonable option.

Visit www.docgiff.com.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

Jayda Monilaws is selling cupcakes again for Central Alberta Humane Society

The 10-year-old Red Deerian is selling cupcakes today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Pride Days are Feb. 21st and 28th during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Events will be held at the 52 North Music + Cultural Festival

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read