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Drinking and the Shrinking Brain

Nobody wants to think about their brain's shrinking. But our brains do so as we age.

They decrease in size by about 2 percent per decade, and the brains of drinkers may shrink more quickly, according to a study published Monday in the Archives of Neurology, a publication of the American Medical Association. Those who drank most saw the most shrinkage. Women's brains suffered more than men's, perhaps because women tend to be smaller than men and may metabolize alcohol differently.

The research team, led by Carol Ann Paul, an instructor in the neuroscience program at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., had hypothesized that low to moderate alcohol consumption might actually protect against brain shrinkage. No such luck. (For news about a possible way for older people to keep their brains sharp, see tomorrow's The Checkup entry.)

On the other hand, drinking didn't seem to accelerate the formation of white matter lesions on the brain, another phenomenon of aging that may contribute to cognitive decline. This research found no such effect.

Before you toss out your martini glass, it's important to note a few caveats. The study, which included 1,839 participants who'd had MRIs of their brains, wasn't designed to investigate what, if any, effect brain shrinkage has on actual brain function. And because the study relied on reviewing existing data (collected through the Framingham Offspring Study), it's impossible to establish a firm cause-and-effect relationship between alcohol consumption and brain shrinkage. The study's authors note that a prospective study is needed to prove that link exists.

Or, as they say in study-speak:

"These results were observed in cross-sectional data. Thus, we cannot relate alcohol consumption to decline in brain volume. Prospective analyses of this association would be important to establish the temporal relationship between alcohol consumption and brain volume."

The study adds to the mass of research related to alcohol's effects on health. At this point, it's hard to judge whether low to moderate consumption's possible ties to brain atrophy and certain cancers outweigh the cardiovascular benefits associated with such consumption. Expect more studies and more, possibly conflicting, findings.

For now, the only sensible way to proceed is to use common sense. If you don't drink, it's probably not prudent to start imbibing just for the heart-health benefits. If you do drink, stick to no more than one drink per day for women; men can have up to two. Obviously, don't drive or make important life decisions if you've been drinking. (Of course alcoholics, or those who are prone to alcoholism, should follow a whole different set of rules, as the stakes are different for them.)

And, in the end, if you do choose to have a drink now and then, take care to enjoy it. Isn't that what life is all about?

How do you juggle news about health benefits and risks posed by things you like to eat, drink, or engage in for fun? Are you easily swayed by a single study? Or do you rely more on your own sense of what's best for your body?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  October 15, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Alcohol and Drugs  
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Comments

Alcohol's effects can be seen immedietly on people so that is enough to show that alcohol is bad for the brain. It slows reaction, makes people unable to make sound decisions and this is just after a few drinks. In large doses alcohol destroys the brain, so in consideration of all that - what will a lifetime of alcohol consumption have on the human brain?!

Posted by: Linda Glass | October 15, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

For health, religious, or personal reasons, millions of Americans choose not to drink at all. Among these people there is no alcoholism, no drunk driving, no unintended pregnancies due to the influence of alcohol, no fetal alcohol syndrome, no alcohol-related fighting or domestic violence, no hangovers, no beer bellies, and, of course, much lower restaurant bills. Since most of the "health benefits" of wine can also come from grape juice, it puzzles me that in this day and age anyone would encourage drinking as healthy. The alcohol industry has a great PR campaign going, I guess.

Posted by: 3rd generation non-drinker | October 15, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Exercise's effects can be seen immediately on people so that is enough to show that exercise is bad for human health. It causes fatigue, flushing and breathlessness; and this is just after one workout! If done to excess, exercise can lead to cardiac arrest. In consideration of all that, what will a lifetime of exercise do?!

Posted by: Sean Dwyer | October 15, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"And, in the end, if you do choose to have a drink now and then, take care to enjoy it. Isn't that what life is all about?"

I always wonder why these kind of articles end on a "who cares?" kind of attitude. Alcohol is not a natural food. Why consume something that could cause your body harm? If your life is devoid of natural pleasures and needs artificial stimulants, perhaps it to examine your lifestyle. The world is filled with options. Are you hiding behind alcohol because you are afraid to look at the lifestyle options?

Posted by: Ben Johnson | October 15, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Shut up, you filthy Mormon.

Posted by: Matt | October 15, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"Alcohol is not a natural food"
It most certainly is. It occurs natualy in fallen fruits that ferment on the ground. Many animals will selectively eat the fermented fruit over the other recently fallen options.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

What the other comments fail to mention is the correlation throughout most human history of alcohol and culture and civilization. There is a notable difference between over indulgence and responsible use of (especially) wine or some other beverages.

If you doubt the benefits to the individual or to society and culture, that's OK -- just please stop jumping on the alcohol-is-bad-stump at every opportunity. Sure industry has pushed booze and everything else, but that's a problem that we need to address at another level (honesty and responsibility in advertising??) -- good luck.

The reason I responded with this comment is because the anti-alcohol crowd always seems to speak up at these opportunities -- and it always sounds like: I'm smarter than you...". Take a survey, you will find some interesting facts about the importance of alcohol in (especially) western culture.

Posted by: Vic Winkler | October 15, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

These are the funniest comments I have ever seen on WAPO. THANKS!

I'd like to put in a vote for the pro-booze crowd. I've been a regular drinker since the age of 14, and I can safely state that it has caused me no harm.

Booze is good for you!

And, nothing is better on a warm summer evening that CC and RC Cola.

Posted by: Frank | October 15, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

To 3rd generation non-drinker:

If you continue on this reckless course, there may not be a 4th generation non-drinker. Do you realize how many children are conceived each year as a result of alcohol? Well, I don't know either, but I bet it's a lot. Without alcohol, humanity could possibly die out. People would spend more time working, watching TV, stabilizing the economy or doing hobbies and less time doing you-know-what.

So, DRINK UP AMERICA!!!! It's good for the economy and the human race.

Posted by: FRANK! | October 15, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

of course alcohol shrinks the brain just as it shrinks all body tissues.i recall my medical school days when we used alcohol to preserve issues taken for study,the size of tissues shrank slightly after some time.Likewise cerebral functions are affectedespecially those that require finer movements as well as judgement and accuracy.

Posted by: Tan Teik Lock | October 15, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Tan Teik Lock, what I think I hear you saying is that alcoholism could be a great way to lose weight. I think I'll get my wife hooked on liquor because she is beg and fat. Thanks!

Posted by: FRANK FRANKMAN!!! | October 15, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Now 74 years of age and reflecting back on the good times and bad, I am no more regretful of drinking to good cheer than I am of having not waited to have sex when I was 14. It's all good.

Posted by: Robert Voss | October 15, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Somehow we argue about the extremes, and forget what is reasonable and what make sense.
To you non-drinkers: whatever generation yo are, stop being prunes. You are probably alcoholics, and covering your anxiety with grand statements. Pity, you don't know what a good party is.

To you excessive drinkers: if you have gone to bed drunk every day for the last year, you should consider joining AA, there might not be any other way. When you do, please do not insist that AA is for everyone!

To the rest of us: what happened to "know thyself and nothing in excess?"

Posted by: jack | October 15, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Comments on this board would indicate that not drinking alcohol leads to overbearing paternalism, an inflated sense of self-worth, an inability to think critically or analyze data, the need to prop oneself up by pulling others down, irrational moralizing, and becoming a person no one wants to be around.

Posted by: Tipsy McStagger | October 15, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Alcohol is good only for those who drink moderately and occationaly but if you drink to much naturally it will become hazardous to your health. Every part of our body will shrink not because of alcohol but old age....

Posted by: rico | October 15, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Some people think alcohol is good for them because they can act natural when they are drunk and they feel insecure when the spirit of alcohol is gone. therefore brain is only rective to alcohol and effective when use and nothing to be afraid of.

Posted by: ashok | October 15, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Tipsy McStagger,
Yeah, I totally know what you mean - it's a real drag when others have the temerity to express opinions that are different from ours. I know that every time I like doing something and someone else says it's not good, it's so obvious that they just get off on being overbearing buzzkills and aren't motivated by concern for my well-being at all. Who do they think they are, trying to give "helpful" advice and express "real" feelings. If I want to be protected, I'll buy a car with airbags. You know what I'm saying right? Right? And you know what else I can't stand? People who use sarcasm to reply to sincere thoughts just to be funny. Like if someone were to tear apart the thoughtful ideas you just expressed with a few well-placed sarcastic barbs. That would just be the worst.

Posted by: TotallyGetsYou | October 15, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Everyone's an expert on the internet.

Posted by: Not an Expert On Much | October 15, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

frank sinatra once said: i feel bad for people who don't drink - when they wake up in the morning, that's the best they're going to feel all day!

Posted by: bob | October 15, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

HAIL DRINKERS

Posted by: Tommy | October 15, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, we all have to die of something, so why not have some fun along the way? As long as you don't take anybody with you when you go.

Posted by: BxNY | October 15, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

WHAT AN UNINTERESTING LIFE. GET CRUNK. HAVE FUN.

"For health, religious, or personal reasons, millions of Americans choose not to drink at all. Among these people there is no alcoholism, no drunk driving, no unintended pregnancies due to the influence of alcohol, no fetal alcohol syndrome, no alcohol-related fighting or domestic violence, no hangovers, no beer bellies, and, of course, much lower restaurant bills. Since most of the "health benefits" of wine can also come from grape juice, it puzzles me that in this day and age anyone would encourage drinking as healthy. The alcohol industry has a great PR campaign going, I guess."

Posted by: godawgs | October 15, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Who says a small brain is bad?

It's not the size of the brain, but the motion of the crane(ium)

Posted by: Stephen | October 15, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

After a lifetime of heavy drinking, my father-in-law, otherwise very active as a postal carrier, has developed an enlarged heart. It must be to offset his shrinking brain.

Pro or Con alcohol - we makes our choices.
Mine is one nice cold bottle of beer and then another and that is it. I used to be a heavy drinker and accidentally accelerated the damage to a hereditarily damaged pancreas.

Posted by: AVI | October 15, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

so, when they gonna legalize marijuana?

millions of people smoke weed, they chill out, they can't be bothered to drive or get into fights, just eat Doritos

put down the fancy French Cabernet, and pick up a toke

Posted by: kendoo | October 15, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

It's probably worth noting, here, that brain size has never been meaningfully linked to intelligence or mental capacity; "shrinking" brains are not necessarily deteriorating ones. The researchers have it right: this is interesting, but more studies are needed before anybody draws any conclusions.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

It could be that a smaller brain allows for shorter neural pathways, making thought processes quicker due to reduced distances. Plus, everyone already knows that drinking kills off the "weak" brain cells, leaving the stronger ones. I feel smarter already!

(this is tongue-in-cheek, of course)

Posted by: Paul | October 15, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

A friend with Chateau Mouton Rothschild will shrink your brain; a friend with weed is a friend indeed.

I just made that up. Cool, right?

Posted by: kendoo | October 15, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Summary:

Good: Drink and pardy once in a while. Not drinking at all in stupid because its a part of life and to die without knowing what it feels like is stupid.

Bad: Over drinking. Cant be drinking every damn day.

Good: Balance in life

Bad: Self righteous know-it-alls, mormons

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

What's up with singling out Mormons in these posts? They aren't the only ones who don't drink as a part of their religion. Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists are two more that immediately come to mind, and I'm sure there have got to be a few more.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Cro-magnon man had larger brains than us and they... Ran around with clubs.

A smaller brain is not so bad. As long as you keep your brain active, it won't atrophy as fast.

Posted by: Neurotech | October 15, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so basically, you are telling me there are some pluses to alcohol, with regards to the cardiovascular system, and there are some cons to alcohol, in regards to your mind.

So there are some pros and some cons to drinking.

Well, glad this study got that all summarized.

Posted by: SEan | October 15, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The fact is, some people can't handle alcohol. What kind of example are you setting for your kids if you come home drunk or buzzed after work every day.

Too many people try to pretend they are in their early 20's. Not cool for someone in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, etc. to be drunk. You just look like an idiot. Quit after 1 or 2 drinks or beers.

I agree with the above poster. If your life is so boring the only thing you have to look forward to is booze. You need to find a hobby. Life is too short. Quit self medicating yourself. Alcohol has ruined countless families.

Posted by: Otis the Drunk | October 15, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse


We tried prohibition, I know it doesn't work. I have to admit that I am 27 and I have never had a drop of alcohol in my life. But I do know about some of its effects. My grandpa and uncle were killed by a drunk driver. I have seen several families torn apart by the stuff. I don't think people that drink are bad, and I would not tell them how to live their lives. I do think that alcohol at best serves no good, and at worst brings some of the worst tragedy imaginable. For that reason I continue to avoid it.

Posted by: never had a drink | October 15, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Drinking is freakin sweet you can party more and get your freak on. so drink some shine and keep the good times rolling.

Posted by: Billy Bob Bobpants | October 15, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Drunks are obnoxious, disgusting, worthless...oops...darn!...oh, geez...you got a lighter? Darn crack pipe.

Posted by: purestthoughts | October 15, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Dane Cook never had a drop of alcohol in his life and that guy sucks. If I have to drink to not be like that tool then pass me the beam.

Posted by: Bill | October 15, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't want to be big headed and all...

Posted by: Stan | October 15, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Drinking shrinks brain? Don't tell George W. Bush.

Posted by: D Miner | October 15, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Gawd. I don't want to be no fathead

Posted by: Mr Six Pack | October 15, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I've been drinking since the age of 12, and i think all this talk of...Umm...Ahh...Umm...What were we talking about??

Posted by: Hugh Jorgan | October 15, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

stupide amerikans, clinging to your johnie walker and bad habits. we will conquer you so easy. signed, barak hussein obama

Posted by: roscoe p. coaltrain | October 15, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

During the formative years of my youth, I drank a lot. It did nothing but damaged everything - relations, career, and what not.
I wish no one in my descendants ever touches alcohol.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

During the formative years of my youth, I drank a lot. It did nothing but damaged everything - relations, career, and what not.
I wish no one in my descendants ever touches alcohol.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Lets look at the list deemed bad or your health; Mirowaves, Cell phones, Soda, Sugar, Credit Cards....... U see where i'm going with this. maybe we should just go back to stone age.

Posted by: I drink | October 15, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Alcohol is definitly harmful. But how harmful it is definitly depends on the individual and how much alcohol is tolerable for that persons body. I have uncles who drinkin every night their whole lives but are still very sharp in their late eighties. So it's tough to say just how harmful it really is because many people drink their entire lives and have no health or brain problems associated with alcohol.

Posted by: Houman | October 15, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

well now this shrinking brain thing might explain why some of my longtime friends are more ignorant than we used to be.

Posted by: Gaias Child | October 15, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Houman, as a child of Mohammed, thanks for the wonderful anecdotal evidence. Bless your uncles for drinking their whole life so they will follow me in their drunken stupor as we conquer amerikans. signed, barak hussein obama

Posted by: roscoe p. coaltrain | October 15, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how the argument about whether or not alcohol is good/bad for you continues in the midst of a dangerous obesity epidemic in the U.S. I can guarantee that at least 60% of people posting here are anywhere from 30-150 pounds overweight. The gross and disgusting eating habits of this country are FAR more dangerous, unhealthy, and horrific than anything having to do with alcohol.

Posted by: Ironic | October 15, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was interesting enough to download the study. From the tables and graphs it appears that the results are driven by the differences between total abstainers and heavy drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week). There do not appear to be any significant differences between light and moderate drinkers, but I cannot be certain of that because the study does not report a p-value for that test.

Posted by: Joe D. | October 15, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I have a couple of drinks after work every single day. I'd rather have a shrunken brain than be so stressed I have a stroke at age 50. Besides, alchohol makes it way easier to get laid.

Posted by: peterg | October 15, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Drinkers are usually lonely, self-conscious people who think everyone else is having more fun, so in order to fit in they drink, and soon it becomes a habit, and to some, an addiction.

You don't need alcohol to have fun. And, you should learn some self-esteem so you don't need a drink as a crutch in social situations.

Posted by: Tricksie | October 15, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

How come in all these articles, not one person has questioned the efficacy of the experiments, or even the proceedure of the experiment, oh wait it wasn't included! The bottom line is this, intoxication is not improving your health, every second your're either dieing or growing, intoxication merely drains healthly resources from your body therefor depleting your immune system making your more vulnerable to dieing prematurally, UMM WAKE UP, over a 100 thousand die every year in the US from alchohol, how many die from smoking pot? 0. Look at the statistics that come from respectible institutions, they underline truthful trends, dont let your knowledge be based on spoonfeedings from huge right wing biased media outlets, they have theyre own interests. Discover knowledge from truthful resources, and make the connections yourself. its not hard, if you were a ceo of an alchohol company, would u let congress legalize weed?hells no, all about the money.

Posted by: Williams | October 15, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

According to a recent study, the more beer a scientist drinks, the less likely the scientist is to publish a paper or to have a paper cited by another researcher. This may be partially due to reduced brain capacity, or because part of the purpose of drinking is to forget about what one did that day (numb the brain). Anyone who claims moderation as a defense should set limits, ie one glass of beer or wine a day, two occasionally, for a total of 0-6 a week. Realize that an addiction is something that is done daily and most addictions are not good for the body or mind.

Posted by: Changemaker | October 15, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Since no one uses the full capacity of the brain maybe it sninks as you get older because you dont use it. Like the old saying "use it or loose it".

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

To 3rd generation non-drinker:

Your brain is not shrinking... thus, you're a fat head. I am sick of these teetotal fanatics... I bet you're voting for the Marxist in Nov. Ban it all and live forever... right?

Moderation... hello?!?

Posted by: Miller | October 15, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Moderation is probably best, but who enjoys moderation? We, as a society, enjoy pushing things to the limit. We have to have to be the best at everything and that is exactly what makes our society succeed. Sure, be a moderate, have a drink every once in awhile and be good. But no one wants to hear your story. Everyone wants to hear the story of the excessive. In music alone you have Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix, and one could go one forever. So, let alcohol shrink my brain so that all I remember is how much better my life was than yours.

P.S. Does anyone trust someone who doesn't drink? I know I don't.

Posted by: Cisco Kid | October 15, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Growing up watching my friends barf and make fools of themselves drunk I just couldn't work up a big desire to "have fun" drinking alcohol. In medical school my classmates worked on me to come to their keggers and see how much fun they were having. I went to a few expecting to see some thing different than high school. What I saw were people standing around with beers in hand saying "I like Coors," and "No way man, I like Bud." Wow, I really wanted to start drinking after all that.

Posted by: Scott | October 15, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I like an occasional drink, but I don't get blitzed and then try to argue how beneficial it is to "drink and pardy."

The real question is... how many pro-drinkers in this topic were drunk when they were putting together their responses.

Posted by: Dave | October 15, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Well folks, It's not the size that matters, it's what is in it and who made it (e.g. that old adage: who you know) that counts. So to those older folks: what is the effect of cold & hot water on the brain? Does it enlarge it? Good habits, poor habits, good words, bad words,lack of words...this is a good laugh because size shouldn't determine the quality of life or the brain. Its bigger than that. Isn't it?

Posted by: dba | October 15, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The interpretation of the study is misleading. Studies that show that moderate alcohol consumption reduces brain-size exist for a long time.

However, the effect on brain-size does not impair intelligence. Quite on the contrary! Paradoxically the intelligence increases, on many cognitive measures. People who drink alcohol moderately are 2.5 times as likely to obtain the highest scores on cognitive tests as abstainers.

Apparently, only the gray matter shrinks, increasing the proportion of white matter relative to gray matter. This may explain the cognitive gain.

Posted by: Jonatas | October 15, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Bush drank heavily till he was 40….

Posted by: Tony Blair | October 15, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow! You guys made me laugh so much I spilled my beer. Guess I will need to go get another.

Posted by: Drunkenstein | October 15, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey it would have been better if Bush still drank a lot of booze...the U.S. would have a lot less hangovers without his sober guidance.

And I drink a fair amount and run over 100 miles a week...or the equivalent. No doubt alcohol is better and more honest than a lot of people are.

Posted by: Taco Mac | October 15, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

we should all stick to marijuana (with a vaporizer to minimize lung damage) ;)

Posted by: greg | October 15, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

If you want to find out how alchohol consumption has caused the shrinking brains of politicians and to read how that relates to our economic collapse, go to thenextstrike.com. It is time for a national sobriety test! This site will explain how our leaders kept corporate America drunk while they plunged the Ship of State into a debtberg. The reason why corporate America needs to sober up fast is b/c this bailout is merely rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Remember it was an Oct surprise when King Nebuchadnezzar saw the handwriting on the wall that his party was over.

Posted by: TheWatchman | October 15, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

All you have to do is put the words 'alcohol,' 'pregnant,' or 'breastfeeding' in a headline and all the nut cases crawl out of the woodwork. OK, how about this: "Alcohol use while pregnant and/or breastfeeding -- good or bad?" Have at it, squirrels.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

How many of you who are defending your right to enjoy alcohol would defend my right to enjoy God's Green Gift?

Posted by: PRO_CANNABIS | October 15, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Looks like most of the people writing about drinking are already drunk! LOL LOL LOL

Posted by: ChicagoKid | October 15, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey PRO_CANNABIS! If chokin' n' tokin' are your bag, then GO FOR IT!

Posted by: alexis | October 15, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

My brains are pretty flacid after I drink too much.

Posted by: Austin Powers | October 15, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

FIRST DRUGS AND NOW THIS.

Posted by: Tracy Camy | October 16, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Ize don thinks thats is fair ta thay that booze iz bad fer ya unles they gots proof - 80 proof!

Posted by: Joe the Plumber | October 16, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Most religionists will agree that Jesus was perfect. However, Jesus apparently drank some wine - but was not alcoholic. He even said that select members of his followers would drink wine with him in heaven.

Whatever . . . I believe in freedom of choice. We all live and die.

How much and what we eat, along with the amount of exercise we get, is far more important than mild to moderate use of alcohol.

Couch potatoes who are heavy drinkers, smoke, eat diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats, and sleep around, always live less years than they would otherwise. Most Americans would do well to remove any of these kinds of harmful behaviors.

Posted by: W. McLean | October 16, 2008 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Regardng, "It's probably worth noting, here, that brain size has never been meaningfully linked to intelligence or mental capacity>"

Are we REALLY going to ignore the clear and unambiguous evidence provided by Zippy the Pinhead?

I think not.

Posted by: Zippy | October 16, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, I envy the people that can only have a few drinks. As for me, one is not possible.

Posted by: anonymous 3 | October 16, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

"How many of you who are defending your right to enjoy alcohol would defend my right to enjoy God's Green Gift?"


I'm SO glad SOMEONE appreciates turtles.

Posted by: God | October 16, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Most religionists will agree that Jesus was perfect. However, Jesus apparently drank some wine - but was not alcoholic. He even said that select members of his followers would drink wine with him in heaven.

Whatever . . . I believe in freedom of choice. We all live and die.

How much and what we eat, along with the amount of exercise we get, is far more important than mild to moderate use of alcohol.

Couch potatoes who are heavy drinkers, smoke, eat diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats, and sleep around, always live less years than they would otherwise. Most Americans would do well to remove any of these kinds of harmful behaviors.

Posted by: W. McLean | October 16, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that all the non-drinking religous people love to tout these type of studies but deny any benefit studies?

Posted by: wack-oh | October 16, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

God gave us beer so we could be happy.

Posted by: MarketGarden | October 16, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Alcohol leaches the brain of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Over time this may result in brain shrinkage. All you have to do to prevent this is to eat a piece of fish with your glass of wine. This is the Mediterranean diet, and it has been proven to extend lives.

Posted by: Notamoron | October 16, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

yay alcohol !!!

Posted by: juan perez | October 16, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thecookie | October 16, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Very helpful.

Posted by: Celes | October 17, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

yahooooooooo alcohol is the best

Posted by: jose santiago | October 22, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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