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Buy Your Own Beer, Science

Are All Those Studies Proving The Health Benefits Of Booze Based On Faulty Research?

You’re a cosmopolitan dude, so you know that a glass of wine is good for your heart and the occasional beer does the brain good — or, you thought you knew that. Then the killjoys at Curtin University in Australia started senselessly picking apart 87 studies that supported the health benefits of drinking. Go back to studying window trimmings, Curtin University!


The critical review, which will be published in the forthcoming Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, calls out the methodology of decades worth of research that supports moderate drinking. Professor Tanya Chikrtzhs, the researcher who just replaced Dr. Jim Horne on your shit list, points out that many of these studies rely on comparisons with non-drinkers to determine the overall health of the drinkers. But if those non-drinkers are non-drinking because of health problems, then those comparisons of relative health are skewed.

 

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Still, there are studies that found health benefits in booze, which didn’t rely on comparisons in the methodology. Lots of studies on rats, for example, prove that wine helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease — and also that rats can totally party. Other research out of Harvardthat tracked benefits like cholesterol levels and blood clotting, similarly did not rely fully on comparisons. And really, you couldn’t care less about what abstainers are doing as long as they don’t hang out with you.

Paul Evans, the chief executive of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, thinks Chikrtzhs and Co. are full of it. He claims that the study comes from biased, anti-alcohol organization with a “neo-prohibitionist agenda.” After all, anyone can get a study to say whatever they want if they try hard enough. You might as well believe the one that says drink to your health.

[H/T] ABC News