1

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Alcohol recommendations, should they be treated like other government recommendations?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM

In the U.K our alcohol weekly recommendations are 21 units for men & 14 for women. Where has this recommendation stemmed from? Now after a very brief search it's suggested that alcohol has been around since as early as 10,000 B.C. Have we not made any adaptions yet?? It's only anecdotal but i live in an community with high alcohol consumption, the weekly alcohol recommendations are doubled/tripled & more in some cases most days of the week, i don't really see any difference in their overall health at all compared with moderate/guideline drinkers. I'd even go as far as saying that more than a few big drinkers are in pretty good shape for their age (high vitamin D levels from sitting in the beer garden most days maybe?)...This is not a trolling question nor am i an alcohol abuser looking for reassurance, it's just something that's been bugging me for a bit. Has anyone got any thoughts or scientific knowledge on this subject?? it would be much appreciated as always.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 09:00 PM

Thanks CD, makes sense!

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 08:58 PM

Thanks Renee, No michael it isn't a stereotype..sadly it's ingrained in our society, it's quite acceptable to get absolutely wankered, make a right tit of yourself & wake up the next morning & laugh about it with friends... this isn't just teenagers either. There are 40 & 50 year old women doing it too.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 08:53 PM

Thanks for your input celticcavegirl, Yes i agree the UK does have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 08:50 PM

Yes, my grandfather drank himself to death..i hear the old bastard had a whale of a time.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on June 29, 2013
at 09:21 PM

1 for "you won't get horribly sick and die" limits" Government nutritional guidelines, both about food and drink, are about safety, not health.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 29, 2013
at 12:51 PM

Pub culture in Britain isn't just a stereotype then?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 29, 2013
at 01:01 AM

I hear liver disease is fun.

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3 Answers

2
68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on June 29, 2013
at 12:45 PM

The recommended limits are the "you won't get horribly sick and die" limits, rather than the "ideal" limits. Of course they are way to high. Paleo humans might have been eating some fermented fruits but certainly not anything more - they didn't have vessels for storage or fermentation.

Given the way that some groups who have only just recently given up a hunter-gatherer diet/lifestyle (e.g. native americans and australians) react to alcohol, we probably have a bit of post-neolithic adaptation to some weak alcohols (e.g. wine, mead, beer), but given the way that my body reacts to it I know it's not healthy. My body feels poisoned the next day after more than 3 drinks. If you drink on the regular you don't really notice how bad it is for you. I've really lost the taste for alcohol now that I rarely drink. I miss crazy nights out but I can't handle the hangover that I get now

The UK has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and has 100s of years (cf. the gin craze) I live in the Middle East now and it almost disturbs me how much my british friends seem to have a need to get drunk. I also notice that it really ages the skin, looking at girlfriends of mine who imbibe a lot.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 08:53 PM

Thanks for your input celticcavegirl, Yes i agree the UK does have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on June 29, 2013
at 09:21 PM

1 for "you won't get horribly sick and die" limits" Government nutritional guidelines, both about food and drink, are about safety, not health.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 01, 2013
at 07:09 PM

I would treat them just like every other government recommendation, I'd ignore them.

Most nutritional recommendations are minimal level, not optimal levels. Alcohol consumption tends to be a maximal level, not optimal levels.

Both are based on populations, and are not relevant to an individual. Toss them, figure out what is optimal for you and do that.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 09:00 PM

Thanks CD, makes sense!

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on June 29, 2013
at 02:34 AM

I think even the "recommended" upper limits are too high. For women that's about 2 drinks every single day. People should be drinking as little as possible. I lived in the UK for a while and found the approach to alcohol there really off-putting. One of main reasons I would not go back.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on June 29, 2013
at 12:51 PM

Pub culture in Britain isn't just a stereotype then?

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(930)

on July 02, 2013
at 08:58 PM

Thanks Renee, No michael it isn't a stereotype..sadly it's ingrained in our society, it's quite acceptable to get absolutely wankered, make a right tit of yourself & wake up the next morning & laugh about it with friends... this isn't just teenagers either. There are 40 & 50 year old women doing it too.

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