When I was younger, my grandfather would always have one glass of wine with his dinner. Being a child, I never really questioned it but as I grew older, general curiosity settled in. One day I asked him why he always had a glass of wine with dinner to which he gave the most simplistic response: “because it’s good for me”. Being that I was approximately eight years old at the time and still believed that everything told to me was undoubtedly a fact, I believed him and never questioned it again. With this being said, today with the background knowledge my education has provided me about the negative impacts of consuming alcohol, I wondered what the positive benefits of consuming alcohol are.
According to Robert Preidt, there is a positive correlation in health benefits associated with consuming a light to moderate amount of alcohol. More specifically, light to moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial in reducing the chances of having an ischemic stroke. For those who are unaware, an ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke and occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is obstructed. On the contrary, while Preidt reports that there is a positive correlation in reducing the chances of having an ischemic stroke, there is zero benefits associated with little to moderate alcohol consumption for hemorrhagic strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when an artery in the brain bursts, this type of stroke is significantly less likely to occur. Although, interestingly enough high consumption of alcohol increases the chances of both strokes.
The hypothesis that light to moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the chances of having an ischemic stroke is a result of twenty-five studies performed in England and Sweden. These studies reveal that consumption of two drinks a day is beneficial to reducing the chances of having an ischemic stroke. One of the scientists of these studies, Susanna Larsson, stated that this study revealed that the chances of suffering from hemorrhagic strokes increased following heavy drinking (a positive correlation). Another study author stated that the type of stroke that an individual might experience could be a result of the particular affect alcohol has on that person’s body. All in all, the researchers concluded that while there is a strong association between alcohol and strokes, the two do not have a causal relationship. The assumed hypothesis of experiment is that the consumption of light to moderate amounts of alcohol daily is likely to reduce the chances of an individual having an ischemic stroke, while overconsumption of alcohol increases chances of experiencing a stroke. This hypothesis, based on the studies, is proven to be correct. Moreover, due to the fact that the conclusion is based on twenty-five studies, the results are deemed to be accurate. It is important to note that other variants, such as age and current state of health, were not disclosed. This information could impact just how accurate the results of the study are. Furthermore, this type of information could potentially explain any potential confounding variables in this study.
While Preidt’s report is an example of a positive association between the consumption of alcohol and health benefits, it is important to notes the negatives as well. According to Harvard, even though alcohol is beneficial for cardiovascular health, there is still a dark side. For one, alcohol increases the chances of breast cancer. This statistic results from six studies with a total of over 320,000 women. Furthermore, genes play a role in whether or not alcohol consumption is good for an individual. Studies show that individuals who have relatives with alcoholism are more likely to develop it too. This information serves to point out that like most things in life, there are risks and benefits in engaging in any particular activity. It is important to know one’s personal health to ensure that something is right for them and weigh the costs and benefits. The discussion of alcohol intake is no exception to this rule. To conclude, all things are good in moderation.