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Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
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Gilgamesh
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Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Gilgamesh » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:24 am

(Continued from thread in Support.)

I agree with all the sentiments expressed, which might seem odd, since they're partially mutually contradictory :) ).

Skibike, I'm with you here --

I've said it many times already, I'm here to live this life with quality not quantity.


-- but I think quantity is related to quality in a complicated enough way that quantity also matters to me. Dying of Alzheimer's (or going daft) at 80 instead of 79 because I gave up drinking might not matter. But if radical life-extension treatments become available right after my 80th birthday, it's not 80 instead of 79 we're talking about, it's 90 (or 100, or 120, or...) instead of 79.

Doctor Lost, God yes, the productive evenings! I was also able to be productive in the evenings during my post-dinner 10-12 ml of alcohol (equivalent to a touch more than half a glass of wine) experiment, but more than that and I lose my focus.

And yes, James and Doctor Lost, it's relations with friends with whom one used to drink that can be tough....

I'm reviewing the literature again and will be updating the wiki as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, my drinking options are:

1) abstain entirely. I think this is safest from a brain health standpoint, all else being equal (which it isn't! I think I sleep better when I drink a small amount every evening; and there are other less obvious benefits).

2) drink baby amounts on a daily basis (~half a glass of wine equivalent per evening). The research has not ruled out that this is harmless for ε4s, and if there are indirect benefits (in my case: better sleep!), it could be beneficial. With this option, I can order a glass of wine at a restaurant and not have to explain myself. (Or be less likely to have to explain myself -- "Why aren't you finishing your wine?" "Want another glass?")

3) drink "moderately" on a daily basis, per the normal definition: 2 or so glasses of wine equivalent.

4) drink following the pattern I used to, but much less: most nights not at all (I've always wanted productive evenings!), but when I go out, drink baby amounts.

5) drink following the pattern I used to, but less: most nights not at all, but when I go out, drink moderately.

6) drink as I used to: most nights not at all, but when I go out, drink at least 3 glasses of wine, like my friends do.

#3 I've never done, so I've ruled that out. The nightly buzz that makes every evening less productive isn't my cup of tea (wine). #6 is clearly too dangerous, and is socially and in every other way unnecessary. 2-3 glasses max (as in #5) is enough for smooth sociality, even in Scandinavia (well, not in every situation -- it feels like some friendships would, literally, have to end or be fundamentally altered).

I pretty strongly sense from the research that any amount that causes a noticeable "buzz", even very, very slight -- for me this occurs somewhere at the 10-12 ml of ethanol level (normal glass of wine (fifth of a bottle) = 18 ml) means the neurotoxic effects of ethanol will kick in with any additional amount (of course, even without a buzz we could be damaging our brains -- ethanol is a neurotoxin!). Do I want to allow myself to possibly lose a few brain cells (which stem cell techniques might be able to replace within the decade, or might not...) to have a significantly easier, smoother, in sum, better, social life? Maybe. The difference between having a tiny bit and having nothing is huge, socially. I wouldn't need to go beyond having a tiny bit to make things substantially easier socially. Teetotalers are thought of us freaks in a way that people who drink very small amounts are not.

But I love the idea of seeing what happens if I become a teetotaler. Just be in your face if people challenge me! "Jesus, I don't drink -- deal with it!

Or maybe just "say no" without any explanation if people offer me a drink. Has anyone tried that? Doctor Lost?

About some other secondary, intangible effects: if being a teetotaler means one doesn't go out and socialize as much, then one might simply be killing brain cells in a different way! I've found, without my wanting it to be this way, that I simply do not go out as much -- at least when I'm in Europe -- during teetotaler experiments! Another reason for me to move back to the US: there's much more tolerance for people with divergent dietary habits.

Next up: back to baby amounts to see if my horrible sleep improves like I think it did last time I tried this. More when I have more data on that.

Then I'll try teetotalism again, while in Europe, and really force myself to go out more! It might be that I just have to have more afternoon coffee get-togethers.


GB

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Juliegee » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:27 pm

Apologies if this one has already been posted somewhere; it's new to me.

The Relationship Between Midlife and Late Life Alcohol Consumption, APOE e4 and the Decline in Learning and Memory Among Older Adults
http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/1/17.short

Abstract

Aims: The aim of the study was to determine whether the trajectory of learning and memory is modified according to an interaction between midlife or late life alcohol consumption status and the presence of one or more APOE e4 alleles. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of cognitive, genetic and alcohol consumption data collected from members of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. Results: Light and moderate alcohol consumption during late life was associated with greater decline in learning and memory among APOE e4 carriers, whereas light and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with an increase in learning and memory among non-APOE e4 carriers. There was not a significant interaction between midlife alcohol consumption status and APOE e4 on the trajectory of learning and memory. Conclusion: Light to moderate alcohol consumption during late life may protect against a decline in learning and memory for non-APOE e4 allele carriers, but not for older adults who carry one or more APOE e4 alleles.

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Welcomeaboard » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:54 pm

I say get a backbone and don't drink or drink a little or not at all. I would not give a flying rats arce if someone was judging me on whether I drank or not. If your family shuns you based on your non alcohol consumption or small consumption, all I have to say is hire a health professional to address dysfunctional behavior and learn to pity them. Now if you were a nitely snockered to the gills drunkard and they were on your case that would be acceptable behavior from them.

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby GeorgeN » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:23 pm

I've had ideopathic afib for 10 years. Most with afib have underlying comorbidities (CAD, BP, diabetes & etc.). Many with lone afib got there by being chronically fit. Some get there via "Holiday Heart Syndrome." That is too much alcohol. I recall a discussing with a fellow from Wales. He said he only got afib when he drank. Well then don't drink. He responded, "you don't understand my culture."

...
George
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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Silverlining » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:57 am

Hi all! I'm on a six week sabbatical in Montana, my future home; having a wonderful time hiking, sight seeing, getting to know the community, etc. Not researching or posting due to limited computer access; however reading the forum most days.

Re: the article, I would like to know the definition of middle age and late life. I turned 50 this past week; a few years ago, before I had any known health issues and knew nothing of apoe4, I noticed a very definitive cognitive clarity when I drank a couple (or three) drinks. I know that sounds suspicious, but it happened many times and I know it was real. It was like my brain became super clear, fast, my thoughts processes and expression more articulate. I do have a genetic blood clotting factor, so maybe it would just the alcohol thinning the blood a bit, creating faster circuitry...who knows? I don't. If anyone knows the precise definition, of middle or late life, please post here, thanks!

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Janpeter » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:20 pm

After years of heavy drinking if not downright alcohol abuse I have stopped completely as of eight months ago. I agree with GB that here in Europe it is a bit socially awkward...but it is a small price to pay for having my sobriety. I believe I read a study ( can't find it ) that APO E4's have a higher tendency towards alcoholism. While never saying never, I don't think having a drink is worth it anymore...I'm proud of my will power to say "no thanks" without a need to explain.
APO E3/4

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Welcomeaboard » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:41 pm

The way this seems to my understanding is in the USA if you are an alcoholic or over achiever in alcohol consumption the tribe shuns you. But in Europe over achievers in the consumption of alcohol or alcoholics are welcomed with high honors by the tribe? Is this interpretation correct?
If true I now know why they say God save the Queen.

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Welcomeaboard » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:50 pm

The easiest explanation as to what is mid life or old age is tell me how old u will be when u die and I can give u a number. A person that does at 60 means 50 to 60 is old age and 30 to 40 is middle age give or take. Someone that dies at 120 means he was barely an adult at 50.

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Gilgamesh » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:36 pm

In many countries in Europe (I didn't find this so much when I lived in Germany, interestingly), alcohol serves a vital -- though I wouldn't say irreplaceable -- social function. I wouldn't criticize my friends for feeling that they're going to miss their old drinking buddy (who, by the way, hasn't gotten extremely drunk in many years, but did regularly have more than a glass or two "before the Ε4 Fall"). I think the matter is simply too complicated, sociologically speaking, for me to start handing out demerits to people for what might appear to be insensitivity, inflexibility, or small-mindedness.

But in your case, Jan Peter, my primary reaction is: Congratulations on your sobriety! It clearly matters to you, and I will clearly support you if we ever cross paths in northern Europe!

Welcomeaboard wrote:I say get a backbone.

Right, then!

GB

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Re: Determining right level of alcohol consumption

Postby Juliegee » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:41 pm

(((Jan Peter)))..so proud! ((G))...the same. I appreciate and greatly respect your frank discussion. Apologies for posting my latest paper here. I feel awful for stirring up anything and/or subjecting anyone to any judgement.

IMO, an awful and wonderful thing about E4 is that it forces us to face ourselves and the world at large without any crutches- alcohol, sugar, junk food, carb overload, etc. It CAN make us better; more in touch with ourselves, more highly evolved. BUT, it's still hard to live in a world with peeps who operate differently ;)

Waves, Silver! Nice to see you posting.


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