Alcohol: Is None Better Than Some? [The Stack 019]

Hey Party Stackers! 

Whether you consider happy hour a haven or have banned the booze, this week’s edition of The Stack lends literature about the libations that get you loosened up. 

Some argue this drinkable drug is part of our roots and good for the soul, while others say stay away from alcohol everyday.

Check out these crisp new studies that offer opposing opinions for the hard stuff. Bring on the booze news.  

Could red wine boost your microbiome?

A study from the journal of Gastroenterology, presented in BBC News found that red wine in moderation, may help keep gut bacteria healthy and happy by increasing diversity.

  • Researchers looked at the effect of beer, cider, red wine, white wine, and whiskey on the gut microbiome of 916 female twins living in the UK, US, and the Netherlands.
    • Participants were asked about their diet and how much and what type of alcohol they typically drink.
  • The gut microbiome of red wine drinkers was more diverse than non-red wine drinkers. 
    • Benefits likely came from polyphenols such as resveratrol, which white wine, beer, and cider have significantly less of. 
  • More research is needed before making firm conclusions about associations with red wine and gut flora. 

Any alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage

Medicinenet featured a study analysis from Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research that showed even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage. 

  • Researchers analyzed 24 studies conducted between 1970 and 2019 which included more than 231,000 pregnant women. 
  • They found that drinking even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy, increases odds of miscarriage by 19%.
  • For the pregnant women who have fewer than five drinks a week, each additional drink per week was linked with a 6% higher risk of miscarriage. 

Quitting alcohol may improve women's quality of life

A study from CMAJ journal, featured in U.S.News, found that when it comes to health-related quality of life, not drinking alcohol is better than moderately drinking.

  • Researchers examined data from Hong Kong FAMILY Cohort and compared it to cohort data from the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions to see how their results translated across different populations.
  • The study focused on 10,386 people who were nondrinkers or moderate drinkers between 2009 and 2013.
    • Men who drank 14 or fewer drinks per week and women who drank seven or fewer. 
  • They found that those who abstained from drinking alcohol altogether reported the highest level of mental well-being while women who quit drinking reported the highest improvement in mental well-being for both Hong Kong and US cohorts. 

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What else we're Stacking…

Dodge dementia with healthy lifestyle [Medicinenet]

Do antibiotics raise the risk of rheumatoid arthritis? [Medical News Today]

Does a special gene determine how much sleep you need? [Healthline]

Mixing marijuana with opioids may not be good for mental health [Medicinenet]

Weaker grip strength may be a sign of dementia [Healthline]

Memory boost: one-off exercise as effective as 12 weeks' training [Medical News Today]

So, should you serve yourself a strong drink? Well, it depends on your biology. Aim to drink in moderation and consider limiting the lushness if alcohol has been making you feel low.

Cheers to your health,

-Natural Stacks


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