Sunday, June 8, 2008

is wine good for you?

Longtime readers of my blog know how I feel about alcohol.

Now a new study out of the University of Wisconsin is getting a lot of press.

Every single article I can find breathlessly celebrates how wine is so very very good for you based on this and similar studies.

This makes me very upset.

First of all, from a simple logic perspective, resveratrol - the "beneficial" element in question is not native to wine. It is native to the grapes that make wine, so the alcohol from wine is not needed to get the benefits.

Second of all, from a medical perspective: even if wine had some non-specific, difficult to quantify benefits somewhere down the line, the enormous weight of the plethora of side effects of alcohol vastly outweighs whatever pretended benefit you may get. Not only that, but this is a benefit that merely mimics what you would get from eating a calorie-reduced diet, so it is not like you can't get this anywhere else. So to all of you wine-lovers out there, take a minute and think of wine like a medication. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

It is funny how quick we are to jump on any bandwagon that permits us our vice of alcoholism despite shoddy research and grasping conclusions. The same people, it seems, who were so excited to attack vioxx for its occasional serious side effects, (a medication which truly was a miracle drug for so many people suffering chronic pain) are willing to overlook the staggeringly large number and seriousness of alcohol's side effects so that they can tout its few meagre and poorly understood benefits.

Oh yeah, how much wine do we need to equal the amount of resveratrol that the mice received? Only 35 glasses per day. But don't worry, one researcher was quoted as saying that due to some other compounds in wine, you might be able to get away with just 4-5 glasses per day. That's right. Just 1 whole bottle of wine every day. That is only 2-3 times the "recommended" daily amount of alcohol. Don't worry. You wont become an alcoholic. It could never happen to you. And you wont drink and drive and kill an innocent family of four driving home from Grandma's house. After all, you only had one little bottle of wine today. And it's good for you!

I hate alcohol.

And the drunk patient I took care of tonight didn't help the cause any.


Anonymous said...

A whole bottle of wine? I don't think I can drink a whole bottle of wine in a week let alone everyday...people are crazy!

A drink once and awhile in my viewpoint is fine, not everyday, multiple times a day.

We have a patient that drinks straight whiskey while on Dialysis. Apparently I am the only one who has an issue with this, isn't that like against patient rules?

It would seem obvious to me, but whatever, I am just a student nurse.

*a whole bottle a wine, everyday, hahaha*

Braden said...

Hey Kim thanks for stopping by and commenting.

You hit my point right on the head. These researchers are trying to encourage drinking wine because it is good for you, but to get the benefit that they are talking about, you would need 5 glasses of wine a day (and that is a big stretch from what they came up with in the study).