28 March 2019 In General Health

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, had said: "Wine is a thing wonderfully appropriate to man if, in health as in disease, it is administered with appropriate and just measure according to the individual constitution." Wine has always accompanied humanity, for religion or for health. Christians and Jews need wine for the liturgy. For Plato, wine was an indispensable element in society and the most important in the symposium. In this second part of the banquet, mixed with water, the wine gave the word. If the French paradox made a lot of ink flow; it was the wine that was originally responsible for it. Many researchers have tried to study alcohol and polyphenols in wine, in order to solve the mystery. Beyond its cardiovascular effects, there are also effects on longevity, metabolism, cancer prevention, and neuroprotection, and the list goes on. The purpose of this work is to make an analysis of the current knowledge on the subject. Indeed, if the paradigm of antioxidants is seductive, it is perhaps by their prooxidant effect that the polyphenols act, by an epigenetic process mediated by nrf2. Wine is a preserve of antioxidants for the winter and it is by this property that the wine acts, in an alcoholic solution. A wine without alcohol is pure heresy. Wine is the elixir that by design, over millennials, has acted as a pharmacopeia that enabled man to heal and prosper on the planet. From Alvise Cornaro to Serge Renaud, nutrition was the key to health and longevity, whether the Cretan or Okinawa diet, it is the small dose of alcohol (wine or sake) that allows the bioavailability of polyphenols. Moderate drinking gives a protection for diseases and a longevity potential. In conclusion, let us drink fewer, but drink better, to live older.

28 March 2019 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that people who develop serious health conditions are likely to cease drinking alcohol (sometimes known as "sick-quitters"). We quantified the likelihood of quitting drinking in relation to the onset of a variety of health conditions.

METHODS: Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of ceasing alcohol consumption after diagnosis of 28 health conditions and 4 general indicators of health were derived from logistic regression among 97,852 drinkers aged >/= 45 years between baseline (2006 to 2009) and median 5.3 years of follow-up in the New South Wales 45 and Up Study. Incident health conditions at follow-up were self-reported.

RESULTS: At follow-up, 9.6% (n = 9,438) of drinkers had ceased drinking. Drinking cessation was significantly associated with 24 of 32 health conditions examined: 15.4% of participants with newly diagnosed diabetes quit drinking (OR for quitting vs. continuing 1.77, 95% CI: 1.60 to 1.96), 16.4% with Parkinson's disease (1.71, 1.35 to 2.17), 17.8% with poor memory (1.68, 1.43 to 1.97), 19.2% with hip fracture (1.64, 1.30 to 2.06), 14.7% with stroke (1.45, 1.27 to 1.66), 12.5% with depression (1.40, 1.26 to 1.55), 15.0% with breast cancer (1.38, 1.18 to 1.61), 12.3% with heart disease (1.34, 1.25 to 1.44), and 13.3% with osteoarthritis (1.22, 1.12 to 1.33). Strong associations with quitting were observed in those with a decline in self-rated overall health (2.93, 2.53 to 3.40) and quality of life (2.68, 2.24 to 3.21). Some health conditions not significantly associated with quitting were prostate cancer, melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, hay fever, and hearing loss. Findings were generally consistent for men and women, by age group and by smoking status.

CONCLUSIONS: Diagnosis with a variety of health conditions appears to prompt drinking cessation in older adults.

26 February 2019 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Low-risk thresholds for alcohol use differ across various national guidelines. To assess the novel WHO risk drinking levels in light of alcohol-sensitive common laboratory tests, we analysed biomarkers of liver status, inflammation and lipid profiles from a population-based survey of individuals classified to abstainers and different WHO risk drinking levels defined in terms of mean alcohol consumption per day. The study included 22,327 participants aged 25-74 years from the National FINRISK Study. Data on alcohol use, health status, diet, body weight and lifestyle (smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity) were recorded from structured interviews. Alcohol data from self-reports covering the past 12 months were used to categorize the participants into subgroups of abstainers and WHO risk drinking categories representing low, moderate, high and very high risk drinkers. Serum liver enzymes (GGT, ALT), C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profiles were measured using standard laboratory techniques. Alcohol risk category was roughly linearly related with the occurrence of elevated values for GGT, ALT and CRP. Alcohol drinking also significantly influenced the incidence of abnormalities in serum lipids. Significantly higher odds for abnormal GGT, ALT and altered lipid profiles remained in alcohol drinkers even after adjustment for age, waist circumference, physical inactivity, smoking and coffee consumption. A more systematic use of laboratory tests during treatment of individuals classified to WHO risk drinking categories may improve the assessment of alcohol-related health risks. Follow-ups of biomarker responses may also prove to be useful in health interventions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.

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