Covid-19 & Health Update: FAQs about Alcohol Consumption

Hello everyone:

I get this question a lot: can I still drink some wine or alcohol while on this food plan to reduce inflammation, heal my gut, detox my body etc.?

The short answer is…no. For some this is hard to hear, so I pulled together some links to share with you that you can check out for yourself…but research is now showing that literally no amount of alcohol is beneficial. Anyone who reads my blogs knows that inflammation causes, perpetuates, or aggravates ALL human ailments…every single one including immune suppression (not a good thing to have in a pandemic), aging, dementia, fatigue, fogginess, cancer, depression, anxiety, allergies, gut problems, stress, nutrient deficiencies, insomnia, arthritis, digestion problems, and especially leaky gut…etc., etc. It turns out that alcohol consumption, even the amount in only ½ of a beer will induce health damaging inflammation. Check out these links for yourself:

“Chronic alcohol use impairs not only gut and liver functions, but also multi-organ interactions, leading to persistent systemic inflammation and ultimately, to organ damage. (This starts at just ½ of a beer per day!) Alcohol metabolism directly leads to the production of reactive oxygen species, known for their ability to stimulate activation of a key inflammation transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Hypoxia, resulting from alcohol metabolism, is also known to induce the inflammatory response.”

 Bottom Line:

To be sure, you can find articles saying that some alcohol in some situations is Ok, and you can argue for consumption if you would like to. A better way to think about it is to acknowledge that it is a risky behavior, and if you are in the middle of working to overcome a chronic health problem, or if there is a family history of dementia or cancer or addiction etc., then you should consider just saying no. No amount of alcohol is safe for brain health, that has been proven. Remember that alcohol consumption is not the only thing assaulting your health, and that combining alcohol with other health destroying multipliers will just make things really a lot worse. For instance, the SAD food plan (Standard American Diet) with a side of alcohol will just increase your risk of bringing out some disease that you may be at risk of. You can think about what you may be at risk for developing by looking at your family tree simply because you may have a pre-disposition to those conditions that you can aggravate with alcohol, stress, the SAD foods, etc.

You may think that you can still consume alcohol but just a bit less…that is not what the literature says:

“Consistent with prior literature, we find negative associations between alcohol intake and brain macrostructure and microstructure. Specifically, alcohol intake is negatively associated with global brain volume measures, regional gray matter volumes, and white matter microstructure. Here, we show that the negative associations between alcohol intake and brain macrostructure and microstructure are already apparent in individuals consuming an average of only one to two daily alcohol units and become stronger as alcohol intake increases.

 As drinking increased from one alcohol unit (about half a beer) a day to two units (a pint of beer or a glass of wine) in 50-year-olds, for example, brain changes were equivalent to the effect of aging 2 years. An increase from two alcohol units to three showed changes equivalent to aging 3.5 years.

PS: Not drinking all week and concentrating alcohol consumption on the weekends (binging) is just as bad. If you have any chronic health problems, it may be best to avoid all forms of alcohol all the time. After all, what are your goals in life? Whatever they are, you simply cannot be at your best consuming alcohol. The last link above, from, is really pretty good but newer research shows that damage comes from even light alcohol consumption, no just heavier drinking.


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