- Del Meyer, MD - http://delmeyer.net -

Politics and Spirits

A politician was asked if he was for or against alcohol? His answer indicated that it all depends on what you are talking about.

If you’re talking about the spirits that cause cirrhosis, encephalopathy, gastritis, peptic ulcers and a myriad of other diseases, as well as drunkenness, family fights, child and spousal abuse, divorce, accidents and death, I’m against it. However, if you’re talking about the fruit of the vine that helps people to relax, be congenial with each other and digest their foods better and that provides tax money to build our roads and schools, then I’m for it.

Medicine is just that sort of thing. There is nothing that is ever purely good or bad but rather some mixture in between. When in doubt, whether in food or drink, always be moderate. We have seen so many medical problems related to alcohol that we would never encourage anyone to drink who hasn’t. Neither would we encourage anyone to drink who has had a problem with drinking in the past, where moderation would never work. Alcohol-related diseases have been estimated to cause 100,000 deaths each year in the United States.

What is a moderate drinker? Research suggests that people who have a drink or two a day live longer and have better health than those who don’t drink or who drink four or more drinks a day. So if you do drink, the limits are quite clear. Don’t drink more than one or two drinks a day.

A drink can be defined as 1.5 oz of 40 percent spirits; 5 oz of 12 percent wine; or 12 oz of 5 percent beer. As you can readily see, each of these equals 0.6 oz of alcohol. So there is very little difference in what you drink, only in the quantity that you drink.

So, Salud and be responsible and careful.