Moderate Drinking Is Good for You, I Think

A new study shows that heavy drinking is bad, and not drinking at all is OK, but moderate drinking is perfect. Wait, what?

Here's the backstory according to the Daily Beast: Oregon researchers rounded up 12 rhesus macaque monkeys and allowed some to drink all the alcohol they wanted while another group babysat their booze. Sounds like a pretty good New Year's Eve party provided no one steals all the bananas, right? Well, when the scientists tested whether the alcohol the animals ingested was good or bad for their immune systems, the results were muddled to say the least.

For the most part, they found that heavy drinking is bad news. Every determination of immunity was drastically compromised in the chronic alcoholic macaques, whereas the moderate drinkers resembled the abstemious primates. In one or two determinations, the immune function of the moderate drinkers appeared superior compared not only to the heavy drinkers but to the nondrinkers, as well. This finding, though somewhat subtle and of uncertain clinical significance, made the news splash by suggesting that the observed advantage of moderate drinking may derive in part from the tonic effect of alcohol on that vast complex Rube Goldberg apparatus called the human immune system.

See what I mean? So if this super select batch of monkey data is accurate for all humans, then having a drink or two each day is on par with eating an apple daily. However, what data from a super select research group is right for every person ever? Exactly. So, here's to 2014, where we still don't know much besides excessive drinking is always bad for you. Cheers!

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