Posts Tagged ‘Health’
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
By Christopher McCollum
In a recently concluded study of more than 22,000 people, lead by Yangmei Li of Cambridge University, results have shown moderate drinkers who also smoke are almost two thirds more likely to have a stroke than their moderate drinking, non-smoking counterparts.
There have been a bounty of recent studies showing the moderate consumption of alcohol having positive affects on heart health, blood pressure and circulation, and bone density. Studies have also surfaced showing that alcohol appears to reduce stroke risk in individuals, and this study from Ms. Li seems to support that.
The results show that out of all the combinations of smokers and drinkers, the lowest risk of stroke came in the 7 – 14 drinks per week demographic, followed by 3 – 7 per week. Those who consume a fewer amount of drinks (0 – 3 per week) appear to be 31% more likely to succumb to a stroke, while those who drink the most (more than 28 drinks per week), are 75% more likely than those who average 1 to 2 drinks per day.
The smoking contingent of the study has another mixed bag of results, with non-drinking smokers being 32% more likely than our aforementioned moderate drinker, while the most at risk demographic were those who both smoke and drink, who are a staggering 218% more likely to suffer a stroke.
So with these results in mind, it looks like the healthiest vice to have is drinking, but in moderation of only 1 to 2 drinks per day. In relation to some of the previous studies that we have written about here at Culture of Spirits, it seems that a pint of Guinness alternated daily with a pint of an IPA, backed up with a glass of Champagne or red wine would be the logical choice to optimize the health benefits of some of our favorite beverages.
Until next time, sophisticated ones!
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
By Micah Hanks
A new study appearing today at the Web MD site suggests there is a link between heavy drinking and people who consume lesser wholesome foods. Specifically, diets consisting of heavier alcohol intake appear to lack consistent (and recommended) amounts of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk, according to researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Interviews performed by these agencies among 8,155 men and 7,715 women in the U.S. sought to learn about their individual drinking and dietary habits. The findings, reported in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, suggest dangerous dietary habits are certainly more consistent among the more regular drinkers. Immediately, one must consider whether other factors, some of which are less obvious, might be contributing to such statistics; if so, what are they, and how might they influence trends that exist between alcohol consumption and the quality of foods being eaten by these individuals?
Sunday, February 14th, 2010
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California-Davis has discovered that naturally occurring silicon found in malted barley and hops has bone strengthening qualities that can prevent the bone disease osteoporosis. The researchers have found that pale-colored beers, especially IPA’s, have the highest concentration of silicon due to the ingredients used and the brewing process.
While India Pale Ales have the highest concentration of silicon at an average of 41.2 milligrams per liter, wheat beers have the second lowest concentration at 18.9 mg/L, just above light beers at 17.2 mg/L.
This study adds to the list of things that beer is good for in the health of adults, lining up with blood pressure and heart disease. Although there do indeed appear to be notable benefits to drinking beer, it has to be stressed more than ever that the benefits only outweigh the negatives when consumed in moderation. Experts have not back down from their stance that one to two beverages a day should be the maximum consumption, however unrealistic that may sound to the drinking crowd. Just remember, as with most indulgences, too much is not a good thing.
So with osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and heart disease being combated by different types of beer, one has to wonder what the ultimate healthy beer would taste like. Taking a pale ale and a stout, then mixing them together into one concoction certainly doesn’t sound very appealing, but maybe a surprise is in order. Many stouts, of course, do contain some very fine roasted hops, but in order to get the bone strengthening silicon, it needs to be a pale ale, preferably an IPA.
What would this drink be called? A Pale Black? Has it been done before? I challenge you, dear readers, to give me your ideas for the ultimate health-conscious beer.
Until then, in the immortal words of the Most Interesting Man in the World, stay thirsty my friends.
Sunday, December 13th, 2009
By Christopher McCollum
Over the years, Red Wine has developed the reputation as being a beverage beneficial to health, whether it be the ability to ward off Heart Disease and high blood pressure, or Cabernet Sauvignon’s specific reputed ability to ward of Alzheimer’s Disease, there have been many clinical studies that have suggested that moderate consumption of Red Wine is good for you. One of the major healthy elements are chemicals called polyphenols, which restrict the dissipation of nitric oxide in the blood stream, which in turn keeps blood pressure low, reduces the risk of strokes, as well as other heart problems. White wine has not shown the same positive properties, and before recently, Champagne was an unknown. British and French scientists have conducted studies that now show Champagne to be just as beneficial as Red Wine, carrying high levels of polyphenols that improve vascular performance and reduce the potential of the aforementioned diseases and conditions.
This is great news for Culture of Spirits, as many of our favorite libations include Champagne as the primary ingredient. In fact, just a couple evenings ago, Black Velvets were the order of the day, as Micah A. Hanks and myself enjoyed the the health benefits of a certain Irish Stout mixed half and half with Champagne. In addition to the Black Velvet, there’s also the Mimosa, which has obvious Vitamin C benefits, and also the Poinsettia, which has additional cranberry benefits of raising good cholesterol (HDL), reducing cancer risk, preventing bladder infections, and a variety of others including but not limited to oral health.
With the imminent dates of Christmas and New Year’s Eve nearly upon us, this is particularly good news, as Champagne becomes the ritualistic celebratory beverage of choice. Now when you raise that flute to the sky and make your toasts, you will also have the warm, bubbly knowledge that you’re lowering your risk of heart disease!
New Zealand Herald
World’s Healthiest Foods
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
Drink to your health!
It’s true… here is the news most guys out there have been sweating over: Beer, coffee are two beverages that studies link to prostate health among men. Exercise is a third non-liquid ingredient that experts recommend, but before you start sweating over the notion of physical activity, as little as fifteen minutes per-day will show expected results. eFitness Now gives us the scoop:
Studies now show that drinking coffee and beer with a normal exercise routine may be healthy habits for men after all. Men who workout at least 15 minutes a day and drinks more than 6 cups of coffee a day reduces their chances of getting prostate cancer by 19%. The same combination reduces the risk of men developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer by 41%.
Monday, August 31st, 2009
Although recent statistics reveal that alcohol-related hospital admissions are on the rise in the UK, a very interesting (if not seemingly counter-intuitive) bit of information has been making the rounds today here in the states. An article released by the Health Behavior News Service suggests that drinkers are more likely to be getting regular exercise.
The information stems from a new study appearing in the American Journal of Health Promotion, where lead researcher Michael French, Ph.D shares the following: “Alcohol users not only exercised more than abstainers, but the differential actually increased with more drinking.” French also states that “there is a strong association between all levels of drinking and both moderate and vigorous physical activity.” However, he warns that these results don’t suggest that people “should use alcohol to boost their exercise programs, as the study was not designed to determine whether alcohol intake actually caused an increase in exercise.”
Monday, August 31st, 2009
A study featured in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry has found surprising new links between memory loss suffered by Alzheimer’s disease patients and alcohol consumption. The article, titled “Alcohol Consumption as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Cognitive Decline: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies” describes how the relationships between alcohol consumption, dementia and cognitive decline were investigated in a systematic review that included the combined results of 15 prospective studies.
The study found that in moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (compared with abstainers), male drinkers reduced their risk for dementia by 45 percent, and women by 27 percent. This information was gathered from 14,646 participants who were evaluated for Alzheimer disease, 10,225 participants evaluated for vascular dementia, and 11,875 who were evaluated for various other kinds of dementia.
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Alcohol dehydrogenase ADH5, a protein that breaks down alcohol we consume.
Generally, most people tend to prefer drinking in the evening. However, when considering a few particular factors, this has always seemed strange to me (reasons for which I’ll get to in a minute), although there are obvious reasons for it. For instance, most people work jobs early in the day, since “business hours” generally fall between 9AM and 5PM. Thus, the only part of the day most people are left any time to imbibe is in the evenings. This provides rational as to why most (but not all) roadblocks and license check points occur at night; there are statistically a greater number of people consuming alcohol later in the day, and especially after dark.
Of course, it is advised that if you consume alcoholic beverages, you should abstain from driving at all, lest the routine license check points you may encounter result in penalties that could include loss of your driver’s license. This is one primary reason I prefer having a drink earlier in the day; although I’m not suggesting here that people can avoid consequences of drinking and driving by simply doing it at an earlier hour. Instead, I’ve found that, as a full time journalist, when I can work it into my schedule to break for a nice cocktail while in town running errands (often limited to pedestrian travel while in the city anyway), the relaxing, refreshing quality of a single, well-prepared mixed drink is far more enjoyable in the daytime anyway. But why is this?
Friday, August 28th, 2009
According to the journal Addiction, people who avoid drinking alcohol may be at higher risk for becoming victims of depression. A new study the journal recently featured titled “Teetotallers more likely to be depressed” describes that “there has been mounting evidence that low levels of alcohol consumption may also be associated with poor mental health possibly due to abstainers having other health problems or being reformed heavy drinkers.“
According to their website, Addiction publishes peer-reviewed research reports on alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco and behavioral addictions, bringing together research conducted within many different disciplines. This new study drew from resources including the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT Study) based in Norway, taking into consideration the drinking habits and mental health of over 38,000 individuals. Using this compilation of data, the authors gave a compelling argument that people who drank no alcohol for two weeks were actually more likely than moderate drinkers to report symptoms of depression during the same period. Of particular interest, people who specifically labeled themselves “abstainers” yielded the highest risk of depression. Age and a variety of physical health problems, as well as social relationships accounted for some, but not all of this increased risk.
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
The Azorean martini is a specialty drink that combines a staunch blend of passion-fruit liqueur and vodka, famously served as the signature drink at the Azorean Bar & Grille in Gloucester, MA. However, recently the cocktail has been removed from the menu, along with all other mixed drinks that call for ice, after a recent water contamination problem forced the Azorean to close limit their services for the fifth straight day.
Aside from spirits used to make such concoctions, ice is one of the make-or-break staples included with most mixed drinks. However, when water and ice become targets for concern over contaminates, a great cocktail can easily be destroyed… or worse yet, removed from menus, as was the case with the Azorean. Although the Azorean Bar and Grill had no way of controlling what would happen to a city-wide water supply, this story nonetheless calls into question ways that ingredients and tools used to make mixed drinks can be easily contaminated by things that render them unservable.