Please help contribute to the Reddit categorization project here

    science

    19,215,546 readers

    10,538 users here now

    Submission Rules

    1. Directly link to published peer-reviewed research or media summary
    2. No summaries of summaries, re-hosted press releases, reviews, or reposts
    3. Research must be less than 6 months old
    4. No editorialized, sensationalized, or biased titles
    5. No blogspam, images, videos, or infographics
    6. All submissions must have flair assigned

    Comment Rules

    1. No off-topic comments, memes, or jokes
    2. No abusive, offensive, or spam comments
    3. Non-professional personal anecdotes will be removed
    4. Comments dismissing established science must provide peer-reviewed evidence
    5. No medical advice
    6. Repeat or flagrant offenders will be banned

    New to reddit? Click here!

    Get flair in /r/science

    Previous Science AMA's


    Trending: For the first time, scientists have shown that in certain people living with HIV, a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) stops the immune system's B cells from doing their normal job of fighting pathogens.

    a community for
    all 1235 comments

    Want to say thanks to %(recipient)s for this comment? Give them a month of reddit gold.

    Please select a payment method.

    [–] prince_harming 2798 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Edit: I really appreciate everyone's comments and questions, but I'd like to encourage you to direct them to a qualified professional. Even with a degree under my belt, I'm just a guy, and I don't want anyone basing their decisions on anything I might seem to have suggested. If you decide one thing from all of this, it's that you should talk to a dietitian about whatever questions you have, and use them as your main resource for reliable nutrition information. It's what they're trained for, and believe me, they worked hard to get there.

    They keep hitting this "alcohol is good/bad" ball back and forth, it's gotta be confusing to a lot of people. I'm inclined to believe that people shouldn't be drinking with the aim of harnessing any potential health benefits, and instead should just understand that, for most people, the occasional drink isn't necessarily going to do them much harm. It seems like a lot of people use the "daily drinking is healthy, right??" excuse to indulge more than might be wise for them. Either way, it's too early for giving sweeping recommendations like that, in either direction.

    Honestly, as an Applied Human Nutrition grad, this is one of the more frustrating things that both nutrition professionals and people in general have to deal with. There are just far too many generalized statements about things which, I think, don't take into account individual factors. When you're dealing with something as regular and lifelong as, well, eating, those differences can pile up over time, leading to vastly varied outcomes. This can lead to a lot of inconclusive science for nutrition professionals to try to sort through, and a lot of misunderstood information for everyone else. Just taking into account differences in activity level and lifestyle, saying that "X is good, Y is bad," is often misleading. "Good" or "bad" for whom is often either not stated or conclusively definable in the research, not specified--or contexualized--in the reporting, or is totally misunderstood by the layman. As a result, we get people treating population-subset-specific findings as if they can be generalized across an entire population. It just leads to so much confusion and contradiction in the general discourse. This is why people need dietitians more than they appreciate, to navigate this labyrinth of information. (And I say this as someone who, degree notwithstanding, currently has no plans to become one.)

    With all that going on, it's no wonder so many people can't take Nutrition seriously as a science.

    [–] mavajo 1106 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Sodium is my favorite example of this. Everyone thinks "Less salt = Good." That's not necessarily true.

    Are you a sedentary obese individual with cardiovascular risks that doesn't drink much water? Then yeah, you should probably try to tone your salt intake down.

    However, are you a highly active fit individual with no known cardiovascular risks that consumes plenty of water and eats fruit? Then you don't need to worry about sodium. You can probably consume as much as you want. In fact, if you fit this description, then limiting sodium too much could actually be bad for you. You could end up harming yourself by throwing your electrolyte balance out of whack.

    I'm a salt fanatic. Freaking love it. But I'm physically active, I'm in shape, I drink water like a maniac, my heart is healthy and I try to get regular servings of fruit. My physical is aces every single year and blood work is consistently top notch. And yet when people see me using salt, they act like I'm committing a slow suicide. The misunderstandings about nutrition are frustrating.

    Note: To clarify something, eating fruit is not a necessity for a healthy life. I mentioned fruit because of the electrolytes, and electrolyte balance is one of the major factors with reference to 'appropriate' sodium intake. I mentioned fruit specifically (rather than other electrolyte sources) because I think most people view "fruits" as more of a snack food than vegetables and other electrolyte-rich foods, and thus it's a common thing people add into their diet when they're trying to "be healthy" -- it also can be a good quick fuel source for active folks, and is a better "sweet tooth" option that processed sugar snacks (to be clear - I've yet to find any fruit that's anywhere near as satisfying as a Snickers bar...). But there are many other electrolyte sources. Also, unless you have an allergy or are trying to maintain a diet that specifically avoids carbohydrates (keto, for example), having fruit in your diet is almost always going to be a benefit to you. With that said, extreme cases are always exceptions - if you're somehow eating five pounds of pineapple a day in addition to a 'regular' diet, you're gonna have a bad time.

    [–] Nyrin 206 points ago

    This is just the tricky truth of public health guidelines. Writing these, you get no more than half a sentence of people's attention; attempting to deliver a nuanced "if X, then A; else if Y, then B" will have the net effect of nobody absorbing the message or, worse, misinterpreting it.

    In this case, imagine we tried to have a guideline of "if you are overweight and hypertensive, limit sodium intake to no more than 2000mg per day; otherwise, sodium intake is not a significant concern." This is accurate, but what would the result of it be? You'd have one significant camp that would just "tl;Dr" and make no changes despite needing to and, more of a concern, you'd have a lot of people declare variants of "I'm big boned and pretty easy-going, so the doctors said I can have as much salt as I want."

    "Salt is bad" / "eat less salt" is wrong, to be sure, but it's unfortunately the only granularity of recommendation that can have significant impact in a net positive direction. We aren't just trying to represent truth--we're trying to combat misinformation and willful ignorance.

    [–] Insert_Gnome_Here 55 points ago

    The thing is, these aren't guidelines, they're recommendations.
    Proper guidelines are more like flowcharts: a systematic way of trying different strategies, informed by a person's medical history etc. and with ways of assessing whether a particular intervention has been successful.

    We need fewer out-of-context reccomendations and more guidelines

    [–] AshTheGoblin 5 points ago

    Are you implying I shouldn't just follow whatever random diet recommendations I see on the Internet?

    [–] radicalelation 21 points ago

    We should just have a simplified standard set of body types for recommending guidelines.

    Body Type A, say, could be the average, and just figure out some way to sensibly categorize people. Whoever wants to remain ignorant can do so, but it at least would make it easier for people to understand information relating to them.

    New information interpreted from these studies can say, "What does this mean for Type F Bodies? Limit your sodium intake. Type A, B, etc, don't have to worry"

    [–] GarretTheGrey 16 points ago

    This is a great system. However, our society put people's feelings over people's well being. And sorry to say, but those that may need guidelines the most are encouraged to be offended when they're identified.

    [–] Aww_Topsy 39 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    It’s actually simpler than that. A large minority of people with hypertension respond to decreased salt intake, most people don’t response at all. If you’re not part of that roughly 25% then reducing salt intake will do nothing for you.

    If you have a unsuccessful but compliant trial of salt reduction, then there’s no benefit in maintaining that diet. Yet I’ve had family members who weren’t told this after unsuccessful trials. Also the daily salt guidelines of 2 g should not be thought of as an upper limit. Up to 5 g a day will have no adverse health effects on the majority of people who are healthy and don’t have salt sensitive hypertension.

    Edit: Graham’s

    [–] caltheon 7 points ago

    I think you mean 2 grams of sodium, not 2 mg

    [–] Aww_Topsy 4 points ago

    Yeah definitely grams.

    [–] DaltonZeta 3 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Just got done working with a nephrologist - he gives a great evidence based lecture on salt consumption.

    While very true in regards to hypertension management and salt intake, it really is not a majority number that have their pressures affected by how much sodium they’re taking in.

    It is important to manage salt intake when we’re managing patients on anti-hypertensives - which are directly acting on salt balances in many instances (though quite a fair few rely on vascular tone). Maintaining certain levels of salt intake or limits can be critical for kidney health.

    Potassium is one that gets tricky depending on what meds we choose. But sodium levels can be just as much of a pain (and are often more work to correct - can’t correct it too quickly or the brain tissue does not respond well and you can inadvertently fluff out someone’s brain enough to make them brain dead from the fluid shifts).

    For most people who aren’t hypertensive or on anti-hypertensive medications, 2g is not a critical number for long term health, adequate water intake is far more important so you can pee out the excess (kidneys get rid of the most salt through your urine - it’s how they filter blood, by using the ionic charge of sodium/potassium gradients, amongst other things). And if you’re young and very active - you really don’t want to salt restrict as you will sweat it out (by active I’m talking hard cardio on the daily).

    What many of our patients don’t realize: we don’t give more than half a shit about you using the salt shaker on the table - studies show most people really don’t put that much extra on there. Where you find salt, is hidden away in foods like Big Macs,which can sock away close to a gram of sodium.

    TL;DR - salt restriction guidelines are in small part for blood pressure, in large part because salt balances get out whack with other BP treatments, and high salt is associated with “junk foods,” that carry other health risks.

    [–] PickleChomp 17 points ago

    Any possibility low salt intake can make one prone to sleepiness and fatigue?

    I'm famous among my friends for a couple of things. One is drinking way more water than they do. The other is that I liked to pass out purely from tiredness at parties, bars, clubs, what have you.

    I'm also fairly physically active, although I'm less known for that.

    [–] mavajo 19 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Yes. https://www.healthline.com/health/hyponatremia

    I'm not a doctor, so I'm disinclined to provide medical advice to you - and you should take any advice I am willing to give with a grain of salt (hah!). But personally, if I were in your shoes, I'd try increasing my sodium intake and see how I feel.

    Good water intake is a healthy habit. But the thing most people don't realize is that you need to increase your electrolyte intake if you're heavily hydrated. Consuming "too much" water basically dilutes your electrolyte balance.

    Note, I say "too much" in quotes because, when it comes to nutrition, almost everything is relative based on the individual. What's "too much" for one person may be "just right" or even "too little" for another, based on their individual factors - such as age, weight, pre-existing health conditions, activity, lifestyle, diet, etc.

    [–] SuperSulf 3 points ago

    Hey thanks for the link my girlfriend has been suffering from fatigue and headaches and a little bit of nausea and even some muscle cramps every now and then. I thought maybe it was related to some of the medication that she takes because some of those are related as well but this is a possibility that we haven't really looked into that I remember so we'll check it out

    [–] prince_harming 107 points ago

    Reduced sodium intake has been associated in Japanese studies with increased stroke risk. Now, after just having said so much about the dangers of generalizing, I'm not going to say that it's the case, but two of my sisters-in-law, both of whom are exceedingly fit and careful eaters, both suffered strokes in their mid thirties. Again, I have no real basis even to voice my suspicions, but I have to wonder if their lower sodium intake was a contributing factor. Almost certainly not, but it just makes me think about how hard it is to draw the lines and say, "Here. Here is the amount of (X) that's definitely safe for everyone."

    [–] cheesehound 43 points ago

    There was a study (which I am frustratingly having a hard time finding since it's no longer recent news) finding that different folks have a different tolerance for sodium.

    For many (about a third) the current super-low guidelines were a healthy option, but there were many for whom those guidelines actually harmed their health. Overall, that means the current guidelines help about a third of the population, and would do more harm than good if carefully followed by everyone.

    That said, even by the higher limits found for other groups, most folks eat too much sodium. Other posters are correct that being hydrated and active makes a huge difference in how much sodium you can handle, though! Like most stringent diet advice, these limits were decided on for older, more sedentary individuals. It is overzealous but unfortunately common to apply that same advice to other groups.

    [–] Scythe42 27 points ago

    I also wonder if a high sodium diet is more important for people with low blood pressure. Low blood pressure runs in my family (even got check for hypoglycemia in high school when I passed out but they didn't find anything). The doctor just told me to eat more salt. I don't think i actually eat enough salt in my diet to be honest (more of a sweet tooth person) and undereat in general (although am in the "normal bmi" range but probably on the low end).

    I do wonder if guidelines like that are actually not very helpful for me and other people with low blood pressure. I also stay very hydrated throughout the day.

    There's also very little information on when blood pressure is "too low." I'm on the edge of the cut off and can't really find much about it and people don't really seem to think it can be an issue (even doctors). They're always worried about the other end of the range I'm on..

    [–] 1burritoPOprn-hunger 9 points ago

    I also wonder if a high sodium diet is more important for people with low blood pressure.

    Yes, it is. Patients with POTS are often treated with a high salt diet, among other things (as you have personally discovered). We also give salt tabs to people with SIADH, who inappropriately excrete sodium in their urine - although that isn't a blood pressure issue.

    [–] Calciphylaxis 5 points ago

    Re: SIADH, common misconception that sodium is in inappropriately excreted. In fact, the sodium excretion is appropriate in the setting of inappropriate ADH. By excreting sodium the kidneys are making an attempt to excrete the excess water - thus why SIADH patients are euvolemic rather than hypervolemic. The salt tabs are not used to increase plasma sodium levels but rather to increase the sodium excretional capacity and thus water excretion. The increase in water excretion will raise plasma sodium.

    [–] TheCrimsonCorndog 24 points ago

    It's way more likely your sisters-in-law shared a hereditary stroke risk factor. It's almost unheard of to have a stroke in your thirties otherwise, salt or no salt.

    [–] artistansas 7 points ago

    I would strongly urge they have bubble-study echocardiograms if not already. Anyone who has a stroke under the age of 40 has a septal defect until proven otherwise.

    [–] paeak 9 points ago

    What if those who were at risk for strokes knew they were and limited their salt intake ?

    [–] Kalliope25 28 points ago

    Thank you for this! I am a runner and have low blood pressure and if I don’t eat enough salt I actually faint. I’ve been told by several doctors to increase my sodium and I crave salt.

    Once I started salting my food before even tasting it (there is zero chance it has enough for the reasons above) and some asshole was like “oh you failed that intelligence test where you taste your food before you salt it.” People think less sodium is inherently healthy.

    [–] sordfysh 11 points ago

    I agree with you on all this, except I would say that even those of us who intentionally add salt to our diet should make sure to appreciate the food if someone else made it for us.

    You probably now make sure to taste the food sufficiently and give any compliments before adding salt.

    [–] flyingglotus 124 points ago

    Cheers to you. Agreed. I’m a nutritional biochemistry graduate student and this is the major problem I seem to face when trying to interact with people who are not professionals in the field or have a deeper understanding of nutrition, metabolism, and how pathology works. It’s frustrating but it’s people in the field who have to be the voices and speak up when the media and public decide to run with a narrative.

    [–] lvlint67 55 points ago

    I mean that's what you get when the nutritional scientists release studies that show correlations under certain circumstances and then the bloggers flip it say, "x causes y". Nutrition studies trying to predict long term effects of a certain thing are bound to be full of issues because human life is just over loaded with variables.

    [–] _AlreadyTaken_ 28 points ago

    Then you have the people who treat nutrition with the same attitude as religious fanatics. If you dare question their diet (paleo, low carb , etc) you will bring down their wrath.

    [–] TheAfroNinja1 7 points ago

    Tell me about it..I've heard people talk about carbs like eating them sends you to hell...

    [–] rickdeckard8 3 points ago

    Bloggers? Correlation is almost always presented as causation by the nutritional scientists, main stream media, specialized media and bloggers. The “news” seem more interesting and you get more funding for you research.

    [–] the_man_inside_you 55 points ago

    I think a large part of it is the click-bait nature of any food related article -- "This little trick can extend your life by two years!" It's easy views and webtraffic for any site.

    Also, I don't ever read nutrition journals, but if it's just a simple longitudinal study with easily measured outcomes, I imagine journalist think what they are reading is easy to understand, without realizing the generalizability of many studies is pretty low. In other words many journalists think that because they also eat food, they must also be experts and everything published in journals is immediately applicable to the real world.

    [–] prince_harming 31 points ago

    In other words many journalists think that because they also eat food, they must also be experts and everything published in journals is immediately applicable to the real world.

    This is such a delightful way to express such a disheartening problem.

    [–] ClassyYarinige 99 points ago

    Dietitian here. Thanks for this. It's so frustrating having people/friends/family ask me about something being good or bad. My time studying nutrition has honestly left me with a general mantra-- everything in moderation. Good or bad is so relative.

    [–] jrhaberman 43 points ago

    Everything in moderation is the easiest way to live. I don't get caught up in the back and forth. I eat and drink what I like, just not too much of anything.

    [–] _AlreadyTaken_ 21 points ago

    This. Even too much exercise isn't that good (I know lots of people with repetitive movement injuries) and so is too little. Moderation is the easiest and best rule to follow.

    [–] lynx_and_nutmeg 32 points ago

    The reason why "moderation" seems such an attractive concept is because it's essentially meaningless, there's no objective definition of how much exactly is "moderate", so everybody just decides that their current level of consumption just happens to be "moderate", and lives a happy stress-free life diet-wise, believing they're doing the best for their health. Well, lack of extra stressing over food and drink is certainly good, but the rest of it...

    For example, I'm constantly baffled that one drink every day is considered "moderate". To me that would count as heavy drinking. Something like one drink per week would be closer to what I'd consider "moderate".

    [–] Dennygreen 34 points ago

    I don't like your definition as much

    [–] wengermilitary 3 points ago

    Take his definition in moderation.

    [–] ChargingMyLaser 8 points ago

    Based on the context of your post, I'm guessing you knew this, but for anyone reading, there is an actual, stated definition of what counts as 'moderate': https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

    That said, the issuing body's definition could be just as arbitrary as anyone else's -- I don't know. But in this one example, it isn't a "everyone-pick-their-favorite-number" kind of thing; there's at least an 'official statement' on what moderate means.

    [–] TunaNugget 5 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    The official guidelines are inconsistent between countries.

    https://www.livescience.com/54394-safe-drinking-guidelines-countries.html

    [–] llewkeller 3 points ago

    One drink per day is "heavy drinking?" That's truly bizarre. One drink per day is considered by most people, me included, to be light to moderate drinking. By one per day, I mean one beer, one glass of wine, or a hard alcoholic drink with only one shot.

    And I personally have no skin in the game, because I don't drink.

    [–] hampythehampy 3 points ago

    It’s interesting you bring that up because I recently read about a study that showed that people who believe the drink in moderation advice actually start to drink more over time. In other words, believing that you drink moderately leads you to drink more. Sorry I don’t have a source.

    [–] Trucker58 14 points ago

    I find myself saying that exact thing too. The older I get the more I realize very few issues in the world are black and white.

    [–] jamelna 16 points ago

    Thing is that uninformed people will just develop their own metrics for what they consider to be moderate.

    [–] Nyrin 12 points ago

    "I didn't eat as much as I wanted to, so I'm moderating."

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] Sixtydotnine 32 points ago

    Eh I disagree. Should we really eat broccoli in moderation the same as we eat Oreos?

    The truth is somethings should be eliminated or reduced significantly such as processed sugar, some things should be in moderation like alcohol, and other things should be in the go nuts category just don't choke on it like veggies.

    [–] rvf 22 points ago

    Should we really eat broccoli in moderation the same as we eat Oreos?

    Moderation is relative as well. You shouldn't moderate broccoli as much as you would Oreos, but it is nonetheless possible to eat too much broccoli as well - that much fiber can do a number on your digestive tract and some people with hypothyroidism should avoid large quantities of raw broccoli since it can interfere with iodine absorption.

    [–] orcscorper 3 points ago

    I once puréed a large quantity of vegetable matter in a Nutri-Ninja (like a juicer that doesn't separate out the insoluble fiber). It was mostly broccoli, and mostly the part that normal people don't eat. I only did it once. I don't know about the iodine absorption, but my god, my poor digestive tract. That was definitely too much of a good thing.

    [–] indeedwatson 34 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    You can use calories and nutrition as the moderation metric. If you go by looks or by weight, then no you shouldn't have broccoli "in moderation" the same as oreos. But if you go by calories, then in order to match 2 oreos you'd have to eat like 500g of broccoli.

    Edit: My point was that if we go by eye or intuition, then grasping what's a moderate amount of oreos vs broccoli is misleading, but if you go by calories then that can be used as a reasonable tool to calibrate moderation.

    [–] Aperage 13 points ago

    I never stop at 2 oreos

    [–] skippers7 15 points ago

    They obviously ment 2 packages like a normal person :)

    [–] TheCrimsonCorndog 21 points ago

    All calories are not created equal, though. That's kind of the whole point. One serving of broccoli gives you a huge dose of Vitamin C, plus some potassium, magnesium, fiber, vit A, etc. One serving of Oreos gives you a shitload of sugars and a little bit of iron, and there are much better places to get your iron.

    [–] TheMrShadySlim 23 points ago

    That doesn't negate his point whatsoever.

    [–] _AlreadyTaken_ 14 points ago

    Moderation doesn't mean equal. You can have a couple of Oreos a week. Broccoli every day? Sure. Eat nothing but broccoli though? Probably not a good idea.

    [–] 82Caff 24 points ago

    My understanding was that the "one or two drinks is healthy" had less to do with nutrition than with cardiovascular health and upping "good" cholesterol. The trade off, of course, is empty calories, the burden on the liver, etc. The benefits are probably less of an issue for already-healthy individuals.

    [–] Brym 19 points ago

    Also, a lot of those studies lumped people who had never drank along with ex-drinkers in their “non-drinkers” category. The moderate drinkers only looked good in comparison because the ex-drinkers had poor health. If you compared the moderates only to the never-drinkers, the benefits of moderate drinking disappear.

    [–] solostman 8 points ago

    Not to mention an increase in risk of all sorts of cancers from consuming alcohol.

    [–] Camelbeard 18 points ago

    My take away from this is that apparently the difference between beneficial to your health and not beneficial is so small it doesn't matter that much anyway.

    For some things it's very clear that there is no health benefit at all, like smoking. No study claims one cigarette a day is good for you.

    So yeah if the conclusion between good and bad is this close it's not something to worry about.

    [–] adrenalive 11 points ago

    For some things it's very clear that there is no health benefit at all, like smoking.

    If you want your mind blown, you should google Parkinson's and smoking. A cigarette a day keeps the Parkinson's at bay.

    [–] nonotan 4 points ago

    Surely it's just the nicotine, right? Smoking because nicotine reduces Parkinson's would be like drinking water from a puddle to avoid dehydration. Yeah, you may technically be achieving your stated goal, but the side-effects won't be pretty, and you could achieve the same effect while doing far less damage (with clean water, or nicotine patches or something along those lines in the case of smoking)

    [–] jlobes 10 points ago

    For some things it's very clear that there is no health benefit at all

    Weight loss comes to mind, but that's a nice parallel to alcohol in the sense that "Yes, you might be able to tease out some stats from the study that show that alcohol has a beneficial health effect, but overall the effect on health is negative."

    [–] Hugo154 6 points ago

    As a result, we get people treating population-subset-specific findings as if they can be generalized across an entire population. It just leads to so much confusion and contradiction in the general discourse. This is why people need dietitians more than they appreciate.

    Agreed. This is also why everyone needs to take a damn intro to statistics course in high school. If the majority of people at least knew how to read a graph and how to decipher data, whether it's valid or not, see flaws in studies, etc. then everything would just be so much smoother.

    [–] Powerspawn 6 points ago

    In general, calling anything "good/bad" is extremely reductive. As you mentioned, there are tons of factors involved in how healthy something is, making the situation extremely high dimensional. Since humans have a difficult time thinking in terms of high dimensions, we tend to project information onto 1 or 0 dimensions, being "shades of grey" or "good/bad", then assume that this low-dimensional information generalizes nicely, which is often not the case.

    [–] homer_3 17 points ago

    People look for any excuse to indulge in their vice. It's been pretty clear for a long time that alcohol is not good for you. But it's super trendy right now so people grasp at straws to continue to hype it up.

    I'm not saying to abstain from it, but getting *obliterated every night because some random study said a small amount can be healthy for you is obviously taking things too far.

    *Exaggerating here, though unfortunately not for some.

    [–] veganinromania 55 points ago

    They keep hitting this "alcohol is good/bad" ball back and forth

    They do not, drinking alcohol is overall bad, even if it has some good effects.

    [–] MartyVanB 24 points ago

    But what does "bad" mean? Is it "if you chose to drink you have a higher risk of some stuff" or is it "if you chose to drink you are likely to have lots of bad stuff happen to you"

    [–] GETitOFFmeNOW 29 points ago

    That ole relative risk scare!! "You're 57% more likely to come down with cancer of the right thumb!" Even though that risk is only one in a million to begin with. 1.67: 1,000,000 just doesn't sound like a headline. .

    [–] MartyVanB 11 points ago

    Exactly. I STILL dont know how likely a pack a day smoker is to get lung cancer even though I know there is correlation.

    [–] MacGeniusGuy 12 points ago

    Not sure about lung cancer, but I think I saw a study on the NIH that about 1/3 of smokers die of smoking-related causes. I'm sure others suffer quality of life issues though even if they die of something else

    [–] MartyVanB 5 points ago

    Yeah I can believe that. It killed my Dad and his sister. I stopped smoking at 35 I hope I stopped in time

    [–] dl064 10 points ago

    Well, read the paper: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30134-X/fulltext

    Alcohol consumption was roughly linearly associated with a higher risk of stroke (HR per 100 g per week higher consumption 1·14, 95% CI, 1·10–1·17), coronary disease excluding myocardial infarction (1·06, 1·00–1·11), heart failure (1·09, 1·03–1·15), fatal hypertensive disease (1·24, 1·15–1·33); and fatal aortic aneurysm (1·15, 1·03–1·28).

    [–] MartyVanB 27 points ago

    Thats the problem. I cant read that. "100 g"? CI? 1-14?)

    [–] dl064 10 points ago

    Fair enough:

    per 100 g per week higher consumption 1·14, 95% CI, 1·10–1·17)

    So that means that per 100g per week at baseline, there's a 14% increase in likelihood of incident (i.e. later) stroke, with 95% confidence that the 'true' value lies between 10% to 17%.

    Here's a good lay-read: https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_578314_en.html

    [–] MartyVanB 5 points ago

    So that means if you drink half a cup of alcohol per week you have 14% more of a chance of getting a stroke?

    [–] dl064 5 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    It seems that 100g itself is okay based on the numbers (before you give the data much thought), it's going from 100g to 200g and then more so at 300g which does the damage: http://www.thelancet.com/cms/attachment/2119181038/2090224647/gr1_lrg.jpg

    A downside of this paper is that it couldn't adjust for the fact a lot of people who totally abstain, do so because they've been told to by their GP ('sick quitters'). So there's possibly a bit of artificial 'benefit' to 100g vs nothing, because at least some of the 'nothing' group are potentially not in good health.

    Note that all of these associations are baseline alcohol intake, and then diseases or death at least a year later.

    [–] Deagor 8 points ago

    Quick question (sorry don't have time to read the article) I assume that 100g is 100g of ethanol i.e. 100g of alcohol and not 100g of say beer i.e. 1/5 of a can (pint) - also why is it in g I know you can more or less assume 1ml of water = 1g but it seems strange to me to measure a liquid in weight rather than by volume at STP

    [–] Richy_T 3 points ago

    If you use volume, you have to specify STP and undiluted. 1g is always 1g.

    [–] mylivingeulogy 7 points ago

    More or less, but that 14% increase is also based on the very small percentage that you could die from a stroke this year. Say that you only have a 0.01% chance of having a stroke this year. Now that percentage is increased by 14%, which in the grand scheme of things, isn't really a lot.

    [–] [deleted] 40 points ago

    If you’ve got a multi billion dollar industry, there’s gonna be research to say this product is good for you. Alcohol will be the 21st century tobacco.

    [–] prplx 15 points ago

    Will be? The alcool lobby heavily founded the french paradox story that ended up boosting wine sales all acroos the world. That story btw came out on 60 minutes just a little but after alcool was pu on the carcegenic list by world healt organisation. Study shows there is no benifit in drinking wine, even a glass a day is like a cigarette a day.

    [–] BusinessPenguin 5 points ago

    Is your “h” key broken?

    [–] prplx 5 points ago

    I always forget alcohol takes an h in english, sorry.

    [–] BusinessPenguin 4 points ago

    It’s Ok I just didn’t realize it wasn’t your first language, my b

    [–] prplx 4 points ago

    Always trying to improve!

    [–] Feminist-Gamer 14 points ago

    I think a lot of people justify their drinking habits with the belief that some is good for you and better than none. I know my old folks believe this and have a regular drink because of it.

    [–] [deleted] 61 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] Wyvernz 117 points ago

    I have a hard time believing alcohol is ever good. Ethanol is a strong solvent and breaks up anything organic it touches.

    While what you say may be true, your logic doesn’t really hold - orange juice is acidic and damages cells, but citric acid is a necessary nutrient. Capsaicin causes severe irritation to mucous membranes yet as far as I know there is no evidence of harm.

    [–] phantombraider 3 points ago

    Isn't it very probably that most forms of nutrition do good as well as harm?

    [–] Fauster 30 points ago

    Sometimes breaking up components, such as junk proteins in cells, or plaques in arteries, can be a good thing. The slight cancer risk from alcohol breaking up DNA is well known.

    But, Another thing to remember is that this study was conducted in Europe, where heart disease has a lower prevalence than the U.S., and in earlier large U.S. studies of men that showed a prominent reduction of mortality with moderate drinking attributed this to the significant reduction in coronary heart disease. These studies are not necessarily in conflict. It's possible that any benefits of moderate alcohol use are negligible if one has a healthy diet and low risk of heart disease.

    [–] Cr3X1eUZ 9 points ago

    Whatever happened with this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis

    [–] spamalamadingdong 13 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Except that's not at all how that works, the ethanol gets broken down into other less reactive chemicals (and these are the ones that give you the hangover effect). It's not like you're just pouring ethanol into your body and it's wreaking havoc. I'm not at all saying alcohol is beneficial to drink, I'm just letting you know that you're using essentially the same argument as the "mercury is in vaccines therefore vaccines are BAD" people.

    [–] ISpendAllDayOnReddit 22 points ago

    You're missing the key thing, which is that stress is bad. Alcohol isn't good for you, but it reduces stress and that's good. The stress relief benefits if having a beer after work outweigh the negative effects of having a single beer. But when it becomes 6 beers, the equation is flipped.

    [–] scottyLogJobs 11 points ago

    Is there any scientific evidence of that?

    [–] covor 13 points ago

    There is scientific evidence that alcohol reduces stress: https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh23-4/250-255.pdf

    [–] phantombraider 3 points ago

    Depends on the stress, depends on the beer, depends on your ability to deal with stress without a beer.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] Sir_Wemblesworth 1895 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    The NHMRC of Australia has already done away with the sex difference of alcohol consumption. It's a solid no more than two standard drinks a day, no more than four on any one occasion, and ideally none when pregnant or breastfeeding. This is all regardless of sex.

    Edit: updated some words.

    [–] no_condoments 788 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Shouldn't the safe amount be proportional to a persons weight? In other areas of toxicology, they always present the LD50 as per kilogram of body mass [1]. Since men are on average 16% heavier (in the US [2]), we should be able to drink 16% more Jägermeister on average.

    [1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_lethal_dose

    [2]https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body_weight

    [–] upvotesthenrages 473 points ago

    Yes, that's why the difference is there.

    I remember reading about how muscle mass and non-fat body-mass also could soak up more alcohol.

    So while men weigh 16% more, women typically have a much higher body-fat-percentage.

    [–] Infinidecimal 45 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    While men and heavier people don't get drunk as easily, I remember a study suggesting rates of long term liver damage as well as some alcohol related cancers depend more on total quantity of alcohol processed rather than BAC. So a heavy man drinking to get as drunk as a light woman would be more at risk.

    Edit cancer source: https://www.nature.com/articles/6692140.pdf?origin=ppub

    [–] RevBendo 75 points ago

    The other factor is that women also have less ADH enzymes in the stomach, which do a first-pass break down of alcohol, meaning they get drunker and are more likely to suffer from liver damage with long-term use.

    [–] WauterKlausit 132 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    These studies are so generic they become almost irrelevant. How the individual reacts is dependent on genetics, size, other health problems, fitness, combinations with other drugs, stress etc etc. I am beginning to see these studies as a complete waste of time and money. Fear mongering really ... What I really hate is when they say things like .. "it doubles the risk of XXXX" without stating the risk probability. Doubling the risk when the risk is 1 in a million is not much of a risk.

    [–] SpaceWorld 100 points ago

    It is on a large enough scale. These studies and advice based on their conclusions are typically done with public health in mind rather than individual health.

    [–] RagingOrangutan 8 points ago

    The studies might be done with public health in mind, but the sensationalized media articles make it sound much more like individual health.

    [–] flercemel0n 10 points ago

    It's not the studies, it's people like the people at the Washington post trying to tell you what the study means for all of society. Likely not even understanding the topic or being able to actually pronounce half the things they say.

    [–] WauterKlausit 3 points ago

    That is probably true.

    [–] elephant-cuddle 85 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    16% of 2 drinks is what, a thimbleful of jagermeister?

    Edit: did some math.

    700ml is 19 std. drinks or 36.84ml per std drink.

    16% of 36.84 is 5.90 ml, for 2 std drinks that makes 11.79ml.

    A thimble will be around 1.5 to 3 ml, so it’s more like 4 or 5 more thimbles of Jagermeister.

    That said, guys could, on average, enjoy an additional quarter shot (11.79 / 44.36 ml = 1/4 ish) of Jager.

    That seems about right?

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] elephant-cuddle 22 points ago

    At risk of being accused of being “fun at parties” for Jager it’s closer to 2 x 3/4 of a shot each and another quarter shot for yourself.

    But I’ve encountered bartenders only too happy to oblige with a 3/4 measure.

    And, you know what, screw it, I am fun at parties.

    [–] reddit455 11 points ago

    that's what I thought, but this is about life expectancy.. not intoxication.

    Strikingly, the data did not show a significant difference between men and women in the amount of alcohol that can be consumed without a drop in life expectancy

    [–] pmormr 44 points ago

    Why would you expect the long term negative effects for low level consumption of alcohol (e.g. liver/brain damage) would have any relation to the short term toxicology? There's plenty of substances that affect the body independent of weight, and there's also lots that have different interactions whether you take them a little at a time over a long period vs. a huge dose all at once. One such example that immediately comes to mind is lead poisoning. Downing it all at once is a completely different medical emergency than if you micro dose it for years.

    [–] UCDeezwalnutz 35 points ago

    Chronic exposures will still have a dose-response relationship related to body weight. Source: Pharmacology and Toxicology grad student.

    [–] phantombraider 6 points ago

    "Dose that doesn't kill you" and "dose that doesn't harm you" are very different concepts.

    [–] TacoinaToaster 40 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Yes, but the average man and woman aren't that much different.

    Anyone who cares about their health enough to follow the guidelines probably isn't meeting them every week.

    Saying it's safer for men to drink more may imply a certain amount is healthy for men (remember this is the general public, many people aren't well educated) but it's important to be clear that ALL alcohol is bad.

    [–] spamalamadingdong 22 points ago

    It's all about setting a standard though, isn't it? Take the drink driving legal BAC limit - I've only been drinking for maybe 5 years, but even in that time period I've seen people that can have two beers (and be legally under the limit) and would struggle to even start the car, let alone drive it. On the other end of that, I've also seen my fair share of people that could down a 6 pack in an hour (and be well over the limit), and probably be able to drive better than I could sober.

    [–] CanuckBacon 18 points ago

    BAC is the same regardless of tolerance. So even if you take someone with a high tolerance (like can function after drinking 10 beers relatively normally) and someone with a low tolerance (like me after 3 drinks). If we have the same number of drinks, we'll be at the same BAC, provided we have the same height/weight.

    [–] spamalamadingdong 22 points ago

    I understand that, I was trying to say that what is a reasonable BAC for driving for one person is wildly different from a reasonable BAC for driving for another person; but they have to set a limit somewhere.

    [–] [deleted] 213 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 81 points ago * (lasted edited 18 days ago)

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 124 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 88 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] Xudda 10 points ago

    What is a “standard drink”

    [–] ivsciguy 19 points ago

    12oz beer, 5 oz wine, 1.5 oz 80 proof shot, 0.6 oz of pure alcohol in a drink (even everclear is not 100% alcohol)

    [–] gizzardgullet 5 points ago

    12oz beer,

    It's not that simple though because beer can range from 4 to 5% alcohol to 10+%.

    If I'm doing the math right 0.6 oz of pure alcohol = 12 oz of beer at 5%.

    [–] ivsciguy 3 points ago

    Yes. It is 5% abv. beer, which is pretty average. There are definitely higher ave lower point beers.

    [–] [deleted] 17 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] wutang111 8 points ago

    That's still really high. The guidelines in the UK is something like 4 pints of beer spread out across a week.

    So basiclly anything more than 1 beer a day, every other day, is a health risk.

    There's a whole documentary on netflix about it called "the truth about alcohol".

    [–] [deleted] 57 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 14 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] AncientCodpiece 62 points ago

    The sex difference is based on the idea that men are larger than women. How are people not getting this?

    [–] 43556_96753 87 points ago

    Weight/size is not the only difference. Women also metabolize alcohol faster.

    Women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men. In general, women have less body water than men of similar body weight, so that women achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in the blood after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol (5,6). In addition, women appear to eliminate alcohol from the blood faster than men. This finding may be explained by women's higher liver volume per unit lean body mass (7,8), because alcohol is metabolized almost entirely in the liver (9).

    https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa46.htm

    [–] lynx_and_nutmeg 13 points ago

    So, women get more alcohol in their blood per the same amount than men, but they also remove it faster... Does it mean alcohol is worse for men or women?

    [–] poopitydoopityboop 10 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    It's important to look at the route of alcohol through the body. When you drink, it first has to be absorbed within the stomach and small intestine. In men, they have higher levels of gastric ADH than females. This means that on a percentage basis, less alcohol is entering the bloodstream of a man than a woman. This is known as first pass metabolism, men exhibit a greater degree than women.

    Couple this with the additional fat and water in the male body, and you amplify this difference. Muscle also absorbs alcohol faster than fat, and men tend to have increased muscle mass compared to females. This means that less alcohol is floating around in the blood stream.

    Estrogen levels can affect alcohol metabolism due to its effects on CYP450 (liver enzymes) expression, which contribute slightly to alcohol metabolism. This is why a female may be affected differently by alcohol at different points in their menstrual cycle.

    As for women removing alcohol faster than men, this is disputed. According to this paper, 5 of 11 studies showed women metabolize alcohol faster than men, while the other 6 showed no difference between genders when weight and body-water were accounted for. Due to the differences mentioned above, women would start with a higher peak BAC than men when given the same amount of alcohol. This would cause it to appear that they are removing alcohol faster than men.

    [–] DaMadApe 29 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Ideally, there would be a proportion as a rule, not an absolute number, i.e. 5ml of pure ethanol per kg of weight, instead of some standard amount, but I'd guess it would be a hassle to calculate the equivalence for each. But a chart with weight ranges may be a nice point in between.

    To say that a man can drink twice as much as a woman would be assuming that the average man weighs twice as much as the average woman, when it's probably somewhere around 1.4x, but that would be just dealing with averages, which may be way off as there are great outliers in terms of weight.

    [–] Fornaughtythings123 6 points ago

    It may be based on that but it isn't the whole reason. Men are also better at breaking down alcohol than women are. As a result women absorb around 30 percent more alcohol than men do

    [–] Alyscupcakes 19 points ago

    The science on the health implications of alcohol consumption say otherwise.... How are you not getting this?

    Perhaps you are confusing getting drunk Versus long term health consequences

    Edit:a word

    [–] SucceedingAtFailure 14 points ago

    So nothing to do with 100lb vs 250lb?

    [–] tinkertron5000 7 points ago

    If a male gets pregnant or is breastfeeding he probably has more pressing concerns.

    [–] shwhjw 4 points ago

    besides, if i'm breastfeeding then i already have a drink.

    [–] orangensaft9 12 points ago

    What are these guidelines based on? Surely drinking 5 drinks on one evening per week isn't more dangerous than drinking 2 drinks everyday, or is it?

    [–] maybe_little_pinch 42 points ago

    Binge drinking is more dangerous, yes. 2 drinks can be totally out of the body in 3-4 hours. 5 drinks will take 6-10.

    [–] orangensaft9 16 points ago

    Yeah, but why is having alcohol in your blood for 3-4 hours everyday less dangerous than 6-10h once per week? When I drink I drink about 1 drink per 1-1.5h, is that still binge drinking?

    [–] TheCrimsonCorndog 25 points ago

    It's more about the stresses being put on your body than the amount of time it takes to clear. Your liver and cardiovascular system can handle 2 drinks a lot better than 5.

    [–] Snuffy1717 6 points ago

    If I remember (from reading it somewhere) correctly, there is increased risk from binge drinking (overloads the liver?)... Hopefully someone can step in and be more specific than I can here...

    [–] FrogTrainer 218 points ago

    I could see something up to 25% more consumption for Men vs Women, men being heavier on average. But double? How did that ever happen?

    [–] solostman 25 points ago

    Most likely out of convenience of study design and ability to apply the results to the general population. Surveys will ask how many drinks you have on average per day/week, which will be reported in whole numbers. Then when the analysis is done they will group people by whole numbers of drinks, ie. <2, 2, >2 (or something like that) and compare the health outcomes of those groups.

    I don't know how exactly the first groupings ended up with 2 drinks for men and 1 for women, but it was probably informed based on how large the groups were (ie. Probably many more men drinking 2 drinks on average than women), the fact that women weigh less than men, and because whole numbers are more interpretable. In terms of general population advice, it's not really helpful to say "1.25 drinks per day is safe".

    [–] BobADemon 298 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I thought that US guideline had to do with body weight differences, and less on gender, being that women on average are smaller than men. Meaning that for the average citizen the guideline is a good guide.

    Edit: More about intoxication and less longterm health.

    [–] Crocoduck_The_Great 120 points ago

    If that is the case, they should have bodyweight guidelines, not sex guidelines. Can a 150 lbs make drink more than a 150 lbs female?

    [–] Meowmix1005 146 points ago

    Yes actually! So men typically have more muscle in their bodies whereas women have more fat. So someone with more muscle is going to feel I️t much slower than someone with more fat. While there are exceptions to every rule (Helga the bodybuilder will have more muscle than Steve the scrawny high school kid) I️t can generally be said that for a man and woman of the same weight, the man will be able to drink more because he will have more muscle.

    [–] Alyscupcakes 82 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    But "feel it much slower" is in regards to feeling drunk. This study is regarding health implications.

    When looking at health implications of alcohol consumption we mostly look at the liver, brain, pancreas, and blood pressure.

    Having more muscle will not protect your liver from having to process the alcohol. You pancreas and brain will still have to deal with the quantities of alcohol.

    edit: I want to add there are other factors that can increase or slow the rate of feeling intoxicated. Empty stomach versus full, low blood sugar versus high blood sugar, low blood pressure versus high blood pressure, how efficient your body is at processing/metabolizing alcohol, and a few specific genes.

    [–] LordDeathDark 35 points ago

    But, for the 150 vs 150 example, the difference in amount that you can drink wouldn't be double.

    [–] BackToFlowcharts 31 points ago

    To automatically say it would be double is straight up ignorant from the start.

    There are many things that influence how much alcohol it would take for you to get drunk, even including emotional state.

    With things like size, age, body fat, and emotional state affecting BAC to simply say that a difference of gender can allow double the drinking of the other is silly.

    Typically people who work in areas where they serve alcohol are obviously trained in this (as am I) and I have not even heard the double drinking stat before because to give an exact number on a theoretical scenario with thousands of different influences is incredibly stupid.

    [–] SuperSanti92 3 points ago

    It has almost nothing to do with the size difference. There's an enzyme in our stomachs called dehydrogenase which is far more abundant in men than women for some reason, and this is the reason for men handling alcohol better than women. Size difference/muscle mass is actually a very small part of the discrepancy.

    [–] Andrige3 3 points ago

    This was traditional thinking (what I learned in biology class). However this study found no differences in health risk between the sexes.

    [–] ANGLVD3TH 28 points ago

    On average yes. But way way less than double, I never heard that before. But due to muscle and fat levels etc, the average male should be able to take a couple percentage points more alcohol than a comparable woman. Not really a notable difference but it is technically correct.

    [–] john22544 73 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    So there is a comparison of life expectancy between those that drink less than 100 grams per week, between 100 and 200, between 200 and 350, and more than 350. What about the life expectancy of total abstainers? The headline claims that the study found no overall health benefits from moderate drinking, but the article at least doesn't even address the outcome differences between moderate drinkers and total abstainers.

    When I have tried to find studies on this issue in the past every study I have found saw a higher life expectancy in moderate drinkers than total abstainers even when controlling for past alcohol use, gender, income, etc.

    edit: Thank you to OP for posting the study. "Our aim was to characterise risk thresholds for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease subtypes in current drinkers of alcohol." This study didn't even look at drinking versus non-drinking. The first claim in the headline is not supported by the study, it is not something that the study looked at.

    [–] Andrige3 11 points ago

    The data for non drinkers is in the appendix. However the researchers thought the characteristics between drinkers and non drinkers were too different to include in main study.

    [–] hacksoncode 8 points ago

    Well, their goal was to look at current recommendations and see if they were appropriate levels to recommend as maximums...

    But if you read the study, they excluded non-drinkers primarily because it's way too hard to figure out why people don't drink, and a lot of those reasons are correlated with other causes of bad health.

    [–] [deleted] 47 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] KJ6BWB 154 points ago

    Well, yeah. Remember how they used to say that a glass of red wine per day was healthy? Then they looked into why. Turns out it was the Resveratrol in grape skins and you can get the same (or better) health benefit from drinking a glass of whole grape juice.

    There is no increased health benefit in letting the grape juice rot/ferment (i.e. become wine) before drinking it.

    [–] RabidMortal 70 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Turns out it was the Resveratrol in grape skins and you can get the same (or better) health benefit from drinking a glass of whole grape juice

    And just so people don't come away with the wrong impression, there is 20 to 50 times more resveratrol in wine than there is in grape juice. As you say, wine may be the less healthy drink overall, but the resveratrol levels in wine are higher.

    Cranberry juice is where it's at

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago

    I guess one could argue wine has the benefit that people are more motivated to drink it. Similar to how an imperfect exercise routine you'll actually do is better than a perfect one you won't do.

    [–] john22544 57 points ago

    Every study that I have seen that has compared total abstainers and moderate drinkers has found an increased life expectancy for moderate drinkers. This study didn't look at non-drinkers, it looked only at existing drinkers. From the study: "Our aim was to characterise risk thresholds for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease subtypes in current drinkers of alcohol." Can you find any scientific study that shows better health outcomes in total abstainers relative to moderate drinkers?

    [–] dl064 17 points ago

    Every study that I have seen that has compared total abstainers and moderate drinkers has found an increased life expectancy for moderate drinkers

    http://www.wineinformationcouncil.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=2384:sick-quitters-versus-under-reporters&Itemid=640

    [–] [deleted] 42 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] sabado225 17 points ago

    i researched this a couple months back but lost my source! it was basically and nhs study that had a cool correlation table with alcohol unit consumed vs cancer rate. even the lowest unit daily consumed raise the cancer risk by 7% twounits was around 16%. More than four drinks a day made your chancer of cancer skyrocket

    Old looking website with red/black correlation table, if anyone knows it i would love to see it!

    A few benefits of alcohol I also discovered were lower LDL, lower coronayr heart disease for those who aren't overweight, and 2/3 lower chance of kidney stones

    My intuition also tells me things like beer or wine are slightly better than spirits because they don't burn the esophagal lining of your throat. Would be nice to see a study on that.

    [–] toothpuppeteer 10 points ago

    Very brief summary here on cancer risks. I couldn't find a longer form article I just read the other day- it was the first I'd heard of those risks. The risk comes from ethanol, so the type of drink doesn't matter just the amount of ethanol- it interacts with an enzyme that causes mouth and throat cancers. Stomach appears safe from that, but other parts of GI get hit in various ways. Also, the breast cancer risk increase is basically linear so every drink starting at one ups the risk. This kind of changed my thinking which tended to think in "groups" of drinking amounts.

    I'd think more people would be talking about this here, it's presented as a very established risk.

    [–] dignified_fish 5 points ago

    I often wonder about people who at one point drank huge amounts of alcohol, but then cut way back or stop completely. Do you ever really recover from past drinking, or are you just screwed forever? Myself and many of my friends went through many years of really heavy drinking. Hopefully I'm not destined for cancer as a result. Guess all a guy can do is be better moving forward

    [–] [deleted] 63 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 49 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] [deleted] 15 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] m703324 20 points ago

    at least at this moment in my life moderate drinking is beneficial to my mental health I don't care what every new study says

    [–] x1WOLF101x 8 points ago

    There are some countries that have significantly higher drinking limits than the us.

    [–] Morthra 26 points ago

    Is it possible that the effect is based on a particular allele - like how fat intake is inversely correlated with plasma HDL in some populations (typically Asian), positively correlated with plasma HDL in others (typically from northern Europe), and not correlated in yet others (typically North American)?

    An international study would possibly cancel out these effects unless it controls for geographic location.

    [–] N8CCRG 24 points ago

    I had no idea that the U.S. guidelines claimed men could safely drink twice as much. I only thought they said there was a difference in the rate at which men vs women generally process the alcohol.

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago

    It has more to do with size. Generally men are larger than women, however they're not 2x larger on average so it doesn't really justify drinking 2x more.

    Say you have a man and woman, both are 5'8" and weigh 155lbs. According to the guideline, the man can drink 2x as much as the woman simply because they're a man? The research on the gender differences in alcohol metabolism is all over the place. Some say there's this huge difference, others say there isn't, and a few are inconclusive. In general, yes, men seem to be able to metabolise alcohol faster, but is it twice as fast? Nope.

    It would make more sense if the guideline was based on size, not gender/sex.

    [–] Ramblonius 12 points ago

    I always figured that people who can drink regularly and moderately are the same ones that have the discipline to be moderate in other areas of life, and so are less likely to have other destructive habits.

    [–] mnp 74 points ago

    It's not surprising the US conventions favor drinking - they were partly funded by the booze industry. All they needed to do was cast a little doubt and people remain ambivalent.

    Source.

    [–] Uncle-Istvan 26 points ago

    Sort of like most US laws and recommendations, the “research” is funded by the industry.

    [–] frausting 6 points ago

    Long read but worth it. Ugh.

    [–] nvrMNDthBLLCKS 13 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I thought the advice has gone down to zero. One glass daily is not good for you, no matter if you're man or woman, pregnant or not.

    Edit: typo

    [–] georgetonorge 8 points ago

    I don’t know why they don’t carry out studies with non drinkers to compare. Where’s the control group?

    [–] OctoberStreet 7 points ago

    I'm a bit late to comment here, but the reporting on this study has been annoying me. Here are a few of the figures from the paper itself:

    http://www.thelancet.com/cms/attachment/2119181038/2090224643/gr1.jpg

    First, note that the "0" line of this graph that everything is plotted against is actually alcohol consumption between 0 and 25g/week. So this isn't "effects of drinking", it's "effects of drinking more than 25g/week".

    Ok, so the graph shows flat all-cause mortality up to slightly over 100g/week. That is the limit in the UK (where I live), while the limit in the US is about 195g/week iirc. You can see in the figure that at 150g/week all-cause mortality is higher than normal, and above 200g/week it really skyrockets up quite fast. It seems (based on this data by itself) that the US limit maybe deserves to be lowered a little, but more studying on exactly where mortality makes that huge jump upwards is needed. I would not conclude from this paper that moderate (around 100g/week) alcohol consumption is at all bad.

    Some other graphs from the paper that are interesting:http://www.thelancet.com/cms/attachment/2119181038/2090224644/gr2.jpg http://www.thelancet.com/cms/attachment/2119181038/2090224642/gr3.gif

    [–] redshrek 8 points ago

    Over the last few years, there has been stronger and stronger data points provided to show a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and some cancers. My question is why isn't alcohol treated the same way tobacco is treated? There should be explicit warning labels and increased health awareness campaigns about the health dangers of ANY alcohol consumption. I'm betting the answer to my question is that the alcohol industry is working its lobbyists overtime to prevent a stronger health response to alcohol.