Reply to "Is one bottle a day too much?"

Originally posted by Ron Natalie:
Really, which "Doctor" is that? It's a hotly debated issue. A friend of mine at the NIH who did one of the later studies shows that cardiologists almost want to put alcohol on the food pyramid. The study shows benefits in the rage of 6-8 OZ of EtOH a day for men, that's a bottle and a half of fairly potent red!

Well I need to do the calculations more carefully but from memory I agree that's between one and two thirds [6 oz of pure alcohol equivalent] and two and a quarter bottles [8 oz] of 14% ABV [Alcohol By Volume] wine.

All the studies I have read [UK, US, Dutch] would refer that to as weekly not daily consumption if statistically certain types of cardio benefit are being shown - with increased rates of death from accident and other causes like cancer and liver and kidney disease at the same level.

All these studies show a significant reduction in risk of all cause mortality for very moderate drinking versus zero consumption of alcohol but the graph climbs thereafter with mainly respiratory and certain heart disease appearing to stay down up to a moderate drinking [way less than a bottle a day] before rising again with all other causes.

I would be grateful for a reference to the study you mention since it is so far removed from anything I have seen.

However at a simpler level the amount of alcohol that can be safely consumed [whatever that amount might be] will depend on factors such as gender, size, fitness level, exercise taken routinely and at the time of ingestion of the alcohol [like dance], general health, medication being taken, and food and water intake - generally and in relation to the ingestion of the alcohol.

And at a practical level, on the %ABV of the wine you drink since there is clearly a factor of 2 difference between drinking a bottle of classic German QmP Riesling at 8% ABV and a hearty Zin at 16%.

It will also depend on the reasons people drink and their individual propensity to addiction and it would seem likely that drinking well over a bottle a day of strong wine would increase the general likelihood of dependence.

Depending on the timing, that level of consumption could also affect the ability to drive for a significant part of the day or night.

On the other hand I really like wine and drink regularly, although for reasons of weight control and general wellbeing I try to keep it to around 3 bottles of wine a week with a couple of alcohol free days in each week – except on holiday when extra exercise, usually long swims, offset [I like to believe] the extra intake.

There is no simple general rule for safely drinking a ‘toxic’ substance since for some it should be zero and for others considerably more than that. IMO we usually know what our personal level is unless we really are passed the point of no return.