To drink or not to drink, that is the confusing questio

Healthy by Nature radio show this week: I talk with Michelle Wolford, ND about reducing cholesterol levels naturally and safely.  I’ve also asked nutrition expert, author and activist Bill Sardi to help us understand the FDA’s real and scary threat to the availability of supplements. What is going on and what can we do about it? LINK  Click here to find podcasts, show archives and ways to listen nationwide. Call with questions at 1-800-281-8255.

Readers in the DFW area: Please see announcements below about events tomorrow.
First, we’re told that moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In my book on digestion I even mention that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol reduces the risk of the bacterial infection that causes gastritis and stomach ulcers. See other benefits on this Mayo Clinic page. Now, a follow-up analysis of the Nurses’ Health Study conducted between1980 & 2008, indicates that as few as 3-6 drinks per week may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. LINK (Incidentally, one of the authors of the study, Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard has been a guest on my show.)  For what they may be worth, here are my thoughts:

The increase in risk was 15%. To put that in perspective, in absolute numbers, a 15% increase means that 19 new cases would appear in 100,000 women. Though that is not a huge number, it still a slight trend in the wrong direction. But there is more.

The study did not actually monitor the alcohol intake of these women. The data came from what they could remember back over very long periods of time. Hmmm. Let’s see if I can remember what I had for lunch yesterday… These recall studies are notoriously inaccurate.

Don’t you think there is also a slight chance that we might all give ourselves a break and say we had only 6 drinks a week even if it was really 7 or 8? And maybe forget they were in larger than the size they call a “standard glass”?

There is also a big difference in the percentage of alcohol contained in different beverages. LINK

Many other factors were not accounted for. Was the alcohol from red wine that contains beneficial antioxidants or from vodka in a green apple martini with sugar and artificial colors? Were women drinking to medicate unhealthful levels of stress? Were many of those women drinking in bars where they were subject to second hand smoke? Were they drinking beer along with hot dogs that may increase disease risk or with salmon that might reduce it?   

Bottom line: I wouldn’t encourage anyone to start drinking but I also wouldn’t let this study scare you unnecessarily. One useful take away from the study was that binge drinking did seem to be a problem and that the breast cancer risk jumped substantially with consumption of 2 drinks a day or more.

Trends: In past years the breast cancer rates dropped substantially after a large percentage of women taking Hormone Replacement Therapy stopped filling those prescriptions. But the positive downward trend has now leveled off. That means we need to work harder at other avenues of prevention. See my recent newsletter for some thoughts on that. LINK

I apologize for the newsletter being later than usual this week. I just had too much work on my plate. Really, I wasn’t out partying.

DFW Area Readers
I’m giving a talk tomorrow (Saturday Nov 5) at 1:00 PM at the Natural Grocers on the NW corner of Coit and Campbell Rds. That’s on the border between Richardson and Plano. I’m going to talk on the importance of digestion, explain all phases and offer solutions to a number of common digestive problems. I’m excited about the material and hope to see you.

Myopractor, Park Bishop will be giving a short lecture on how soft tissue imbalances cause various health problems that you might not suspect were related. He will also do free mini-screening tests. That event will be 10:30-11:30 AM at the HealthWorks Center located on the SW corner of Parker and Independence in Plano. 3221 Independence Pkwy, Plano, TX 75075. (877) 673-2536.

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2011 Martie Whittekin, CCN


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