Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
November 02, 2003

Deceptions in Reporting Alcohol as Healthy

When the media reports a study showing alcohol consumption as healthy, I would encourage the reading of the original study and the editorial comments to get an accurate assessment. In the New England Journal of Medicine (January 9, 2003), there was a study that attributed the frequency of alcohol use to a reduced risk of a heart attack. The lead researcher, Dr. Kenneth Mukamal of Harvard University suggested that maintaining "a low level of exposure is the way to go,” yet closer scrutiny shows that important information was omitted.

In the editorial comments in this same issue, by Ira J. Goldberg, MD, there were some revealing facts about this study that were not mentioned in the media. Those in the non-alcoholic group had less physical activity, lower vitamin E intake, more diabetes, and a higher intake of trans-and saturated fat. Also Dr. Goldberg wondered if the alcohol-consuming groups might have other lifestyle factors associated with reduced risk. He said, "not everything fits,” as alcohol does not reliably reduce arteriosclerosis in animals, and without data from clinical trials, it is unclear how a physician can be in a position to advise his or her patients. The toxic effect of alcohol is well established, whereas the data on alcohol and cardiovascular disease is not.

In those who drink alcoholic beverages, some studies show a reduction in cardiovascular disease but not in overall mortality. A number of preventive therapies, such as exercise, cessation of smoking, lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure do not have the undesirable effects of alcohol, concluded Dr. Goldberg, "substitution of one disease for another is not a medical advance.”

Check here lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure for some more deceptions... CG

Another news item suggesting that alcohol has a positive effect on diabetics was challenged by Wake Forest University School of Medicine because one of the important risk factors was omitted — weight/body mass index. When this was included in the Wake Forest study, there was no benefit. Another media report said that wine was associated with better lung function. However, the researchers in this study attributed the improvement to the antioxidants in the wine - not the alcohol, and they warned of resulting oxidative stress. Other less publicized, but equally valid, studies show that wine consumption makes the lung liable to injury and increases the risk of allergic reactions.

These following facts are also missing from media reports: in 2000, our government declared alcoholic beverages to be a class "A” human carcinogen, along with arsenic and asbestos. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, drinking as little as one alcoholic beverage a day can raise the risk of mouth, throat, and esophageal cancer: seven to ten drinks a week increases the risk three times. Individuals who regularly consume alcohol show no improvement in general health, since they die more often from strokes, cancer, accidents, and violence. The media's pro-alcohol reporting and regular omission of the dangers and risks should be of concern to the public. Just as with alcohol, there are health benefits from tobacco (nicotine), but the dangers from each of these drugs far outweigh any benefits.

June Russell's Health Facts


posted by Chris Gupta on Sunday November 2 2003
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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Readers' Comments

It might be a decieving projection that someone could consider alcohol as a source of having health.

Posted by: brian the SEO guy on March 9, 2004 03:53 PM


It might be a decieving projection that someone could consider alcohol as a source of having health.

Posted by: Chris Gupta on March 9, 2004 08:40 PM


Exposure to asbestos is no joke. Look at some of these shocking stats.
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However, if you or a loved one has contracted cancer due to asbestos YOU NEED TO SEEK AN ATTORNEY NOW!
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Posted by: Asbestos Exposure on November 21, 2004 10:56 PM


Alcoholic encouragement is with media.

Posted by: paul on July 18, 2006 03:12 AM


It might be a decieving projection that someone could consider alcohol as a source of having health.

Posted by: hangover remedy on September 7, 2006 03:11 AM


This is the big issue, in movies and other shows media projects alcohol as healthy drink which ultimately damage the health of people.

Posted by: Carolann Cirocco on December 20, 2012 05:46 AM


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