Drinking & Eating Patterns

Regular moderate wine consumption has been associated with several health benefits in adult individuals. However, the risk increases drastically with each drink above moderation! Drinking more than what is recommended in the guidelines will not provide more benefits, only more harm. This widely accepted association is represented in the J-curve.

 

However, not only the amount but also drinking pattern is believed to be relevant when considering the health aspects of alcoholic beverages. It is better to drink moderately and regularly with the meals than to drink the same amount at a single occasion.


For example,
the data of those who drank alcoholic beverages regularly in Ireland and in France were analysed. In Ireland, beer and spirits are the preferred drinks and most alcohol tends to be consumed on the weekends whereas in France, most of the consumed alcohol comes from wine and it is drunk every day. Comparing these two different drinking cultures, only wine drinking was associated with a lower risk of heart attack and/or stroke after adjusting for confounding factors. No significant risk reduction was found for beer or other alcoholic beverages. The researchers concluded that regular moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), whereas episodic or binge drinking increases the risk.

 Drinking Pattern N.IrelandvsFrance

Furthermore, they suggest that wine associated drinking behaviour is at least as significant as wine consumption as such.


Diet

Moderate daily consumption of alcoholic beverages, mainly in the form of wine and usually with meals, is considered part of a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Growing evidence indicates that the Mediterranean diet (MD) is beneficial to human health. A MD is characterised by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, minimally processed cereals, moderately high intake of fish, high intake of olive oil, low-to-moderate intake of dairy products, low intake of meats and a regular but moderate consumption of wine.

 

Many epidemiological and research studies have reported that this diet pattern is able to limit the development and progression of coronary heart disease, the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in both developed and developing countries worldwide. There is now a large consensus about recommending a Mediterranean diet to reduce atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease and to limit the risk of fatal complications such as sudden cardiac death and heart failure.

 

Evidence is also accumulating that wine helps to prevent the development of certain cancers (see cancer). Other studies suggest that elderly people who adhere to a Mediterranean-type diet, including moderate intake of wine and other alcoholic beverages, may be at lower risk for cognitive decline in old age. The researchers explained the effects by the wine's potential role in protecting from brain damage. Traditional Mediterranean foods may also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation which is thought to be involved in Alzheimer's disease.

 

Conformity to the traditional Mediterranean diet may also be associated with lower breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women and could explain, in part, the lower incidence of this disease in Mediterranean countries.

 

Dose

Moderate drinking guidelines are set by governments, so that any potential harm to the human body is minimized and any potential benefit is maximised. Exceptions are young people, combining alcoholic drinks with certain medications, during pregnancy and with a history of addiction. Some guidelines include recommendations to drink with food, to alternate alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and ‘to pace’ drinking.

Based on available scientific evidence and different references provided by various public health authorities, it is accepted that low-risk moderate consumption ranges between the amounts set out in the guidelines below:

 

Guidelines for low risk moderate consumption:

·         Up to 2 drink units a day for women

·         Up to 3 drink units a day for men

·         No more than 4 drink units on any one occasion.

 

The above summaries provide an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

 

 

 

AIMS: The objective of this study was to examine brain activity related to visual attention processes in youths who had maintained a binge drinking (BD) pattern of alcohol consumption for >2 years. METHODS: The participants were 57 university students (26 binge drinkers: BDs) with no personal or family history of alcoholism or psychopathological disorders in first-degree relatives. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants performed a visual oddball task (twice within a 2-year interval). The latency and amplitude of the P3b component of the ERPs were analysed. RESULTS: The P3b amplitude was larger in young BDs than in aged-matched controls at both evaluation times, and the difference was more pronounced after 2 years of maintenance of a BD pattern of…
AIMS: Adolescence is usually the time when individuals first drink alcohol and this has been associated with relatively weak or immature inhibitory control. This review examines the changes on brain development and inhibitory function that take place during adolescence and youth as well as the relationship between inhibitory control and alcohol use at this early age. METHODS: Narrative review of the chief studies related to (a) the development of inhibitory control during adolescence, (b) the deficits in the inhibitory ability in alcohol use disorders and (c) the effects of acute alcohol intake and binge drinking on inhibitory control in adolescents and young adults. RESULTS: Inhibitory control processes are developing during adolescence and youth. Poor inhibitory functions may predispose the individual…
OBJECTIVES: To study the association of binge drinking and the outcomes of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). METHODS: This retrospective study included 347 patients with first-attack SAP from January 2001 to February 2004. On the basis of the history of binge drinking or not, the patients were divided into the alcohol (n = 77) and the control groups (n = 270). Clinical data of the 2 groups were compared. RESULTS: Patient age and comorbidity were similar between the 2 groups. There were more men (64, 83.1%) than women (13, 16.9%; P < 0.05) in the alcohol and the control groups (111, 41.1%; P < 0.05). The 2 groups had significant differences in admission serum triglyceride levels (5.0 +/- 5.0 vs 3.0…
BACKGROUND: Studies about beverage preferences in a country in which wine drinking is relatively widespread (like Switzerland) are scarce. Therefore, the main aims of the present study were to examine the associations between beverage preferences and drinking patterns, alcohol-related consequences and the use of other substances among Swiss young men. METHODS: The analytical sample consisted of 5399 Swiss men who participated in the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors (C-SURF) and had been drinking alcohol over the preceding 12 months. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to study the associations between preference for a particular beverage and (i) drinking patterns, (ii) negative alcohol-related consequences and (iii) the (at-risk) use of cigarettes, cannabis and other illicit drugs. RESULTS: Preference for beer…
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine variation in reports of pressuring others to drink less, as a form of informal social control of drinking, across countries and different types of relationship to the respondent. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey was administered to 19,945 respondents ages 18-69 years in 14 countries included in the data set of the Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS). Outcome variables were respondents' reports of pressuring others to drink less (yes/no) across a variety of relationships (their partners, other family members, workmates, or friends). Multilevel, multivariable logistic regression analysis was carried out on each outcome variable. The fixed-effects components included the Level 1 (individual) covariates of respondent age, gender, drinking status, and…
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