The pros and cons of drinking: Weighing alcohol's effects on the body

Posted on December 30th, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

A few months ago I received a book called "The Two Martini Diet" (Authorhouse, 2008), in which Jerry Sorlucco documentsmartini his success at losing more than 100 pounds without forgoing his daily cocktails. He doesn't break new diet-book ground: Sorlucco follows well-established practices such as controlling portion sizes, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and managing his calorie intake and expenditure to accommodate those drinks…

 

I'm aware that my own affection for martinis may skew my opinion about the merits of including cocktails in one's diet. So I turned to some experts -- Walter Willett; chair of the department of nutrition and a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Donald Hensrud, a specialist in preventive and internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic and medical editor in chief of "The Mayo Clinic Diet" book, to be released Friday -- to help me put alcohol in its proper place. I hope you'll join me in reviewing their comments and deciding for yourself whether drinking belongs in your life…

 

Although alcohol is a depressant, some of its benefits may derive from its salubrious effect on our mood. In moderate amounts, Hensrud says, alcohol can help reduce stress, which is increasingly recognized as contributing to ill health.

 

Washington Post, by Jennifer LaRue Huget, 12/31/09

Tags: alcohol effects, General Internal Medicine

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