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The Anti-Neo-Prohibitionists

Actually, I don't believe my own title, but the entire flip-floppy nature of scientific research regarding the effects of alcohol should discredit science in general. One study says a little alcohol helps; another says it hurts. One says small amounts help the heart; others say that's not true.

My honest opinion? I tend to agree with the scientific neo-Prohibitionists (the original Prohibitionists, it's worth noting, also relied on science to push their catastrophic goal). Alcohol isn't, I suspect, good for your health, in any measurable sense.

"In any measurable sense." I suspect drinking is one of those things you do because it puts you in touch with a greater reality . . . kinda like meditation. The effects are difficult to observe and even more difficult to quantify.

Of course, study-after-study now corroborates that meditation is good for you, but it's still not understood how and why (those questions ultimately require religious explanations). There is, however, obviously no harm from meditation, so it's easier to accept the studies' conclusions, as opposed to alcohol which has always had detractions that make it harder to believe that it's good for you.

Just one beer or glass of wine a day may cause your brain to shrink

Moderate consumption of alcohol – one drink a day for women and up to two for men – is associated with a reduction in brain volume, a new study suggests. And the more you drink, the more your brain may shrink.

Your brain naturally shrinks as you age. But alcohol intake could lead to an accelerated decline in the size of the brain and a faster decline in memory, decision-making and other brain functions, suggests research published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Researchers studied MRIs of more than 36,000 middle-aged adults in the U.K. and compared the scans with their reported alcohol intake. After grouping the subjects by average daily alcohol intake – from none to two beers or glasses of wine or more a day – the researchers found the more alcohol consumed was associated with a more pronounced decline in brain volume, regardless of other factors.

Read the rest at USA Today.