Beer makes you smart…

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Not all drugs are created equal. The New England Journal of Medicine examined the cognitive abilities of moderate drinkers with those of tea-totals. Result? Moderate drinkers have reduced risk of cognitive decline. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/352/3/245

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5 thoughts on “Beer makes you smart…

    Amos Volante said:
    July 7, 2009 at 1:59 am

    No doubt! My congenial decadence has hardly reclined since I poured this third beer…

    That study must be right on target.

    kernunos said:
    July 7, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Well, duh! It also makes a smarter ass.

    Bill said:
    July 8, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Methinks that the real story here is moderation. With many things, particuarly pleasurable ones and/or addictve/habit forming ones, doing them in moderation is much more difficult than abstaining from them. I suspect that folks that drink moderately as defined in the study probably have pretty high levels of self-discipline that they apply to the rest of their lives. That’s conjecture on my part and I’m not sure there’s a analytically solid way to even measure such a thing.

    —A little OT but food for thought I figured you’d find interesting – wondering what some of the regular readers think too…

    On a related note.. I was having lunch with a former coworker of mine. Socially, he’s a pretty hard core conservative while on everything else he leans pretty libertarian – so we agree on most political topics except social ones. He was trying to convince me that the war on drugs has been a good thing on the whole. I argued that if we applied the same standards to it that we did to any other war, initiative, company or endeavor, the only conclusion one could draw is that it’s been an abject failure. He begrudgingly agreed but said it’s the same reason we lost Vietnam – we had the firepower and we had the soldiers, but we didn’t have the political will and we didn’t have a constancy of purpose coming from Washington. In essence according to him – the only reason we’ve been losing the war on drugs is b/c we haven’t spent enough money and aren’t willing to push ourselves over the tipping point when it comes to arresting and prosecuting people. I responded that he’s making the exact same argument that the pro War on Poverty crowd makes (he’s very much opposed to the W.O.P) and that it’s the same argument that’s made every time socialism or a govt program fails. We kind of agreed to disagree agreeably at this point and find some common ground. He conceded for instance ,that prosecuting medical marijuana is very bad policy and that pot in general gets a bad rap and wastes valuable resources. But he wouldn’t take the step to decrminalizing them.

    I said that instead of ‘making drugs legal’ that we should take the same approach we do to booze and cigarettes or pharmaceuticals. I pointed out that on Sunday until recenty here in Greenville (and much of SC currently), you couldn’t buy alcohol legally anywhere. But you can score crack/heroin/pot et al pretty much 24/7 throughout the state (and while blue laws are somewhat rare, the bigger point – that there are often very precise rules regarding how and when you can buy alcohol, but none regarding how and when you can buy illicit drugs). When he started going down the “But what about the families of drug users… what about people who’s cars they wreck into” I immediately countered with “Other than high levels of benzodiazapemes, I don’t think there’s *any* street drug that causes the level of physical impairment that booze does – not to say I think people whacked out on any of these should be driving – just saying that the equivalent level of high w/ alcohol causes more stumbing and motor skill impairment than even heroin.

    Here’s where things got kind of interesting though – he started talking about how many states are making certain herbs illegal – a while ago they outlawed GhB which you could buy at GNC and was used mainly by bodybuilders before the ravers got into it. They’ve regulated the h3ll out of Ephedrine and it’s a real chore to buy it now. And so it seems that anything that can be abused is a target for the fun/safety nazi’s.

    So think about this for a second – imagine that there was up until now, no notion of alcohol. Let’s say it either didn’t exist, or was rare and only used in isolated parts of the world but suddenly became available to everyone everywhere. Think of the news reports as more people drank – think of both the good and the bad. The news would certainy sensationalize the negatives, the car wrecks, the fights, the irresponsible spending decisions, the promiscuity, the black outs. Do you think there’s any chance it would remain legal? We have the lesson of prohibition , lot of money being made and a lot of people who enjoy booze responsibly – so outlawing it now would never happen. But if it was somehting new, I really don’t think it’d stand a chance to remain legal. If you look at how bad they demonized GhB, Kratom, Kava etc, booze has exponentially more effects that are visible. The news would probably work itself to death doing alcohol horror story pieces.

    I think there’s little doubt that a full scale war on alcohol would happen ad it’d be banned at the federal level quicker than you could shotgun a bud light. Which is crazy b/c booze is a huge part of American life – so on the one hand we have something which is still legal although regulated to the point of absurdity in many places – so much so that any attempt at Prohibition would crash and burn immediately (hidden agendas at MADD and similar groups notwithstanding). Yet if it were to just be introduced now, it’d be demonized to a degree we’ve never seen before and banned immediately afterward.

    I wonder though – in a place like Germany – assume the same scenario. Would the press’ reaction be the same or similar to what ours would? Woudl it be demonized immediately and subsequently banned. From my travels to Europe I think the answer in most cases would be no on both (although it’s hard to imagine a European country not having alcohol and just having it hit the streets)

    kernunos said:
    July 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    It is kind of hard and a huge stretch to compare the “War on Drugs” to an actual war between two nations. War has kind of an open definition that leads people into comparing apples and oranges. It is definitely a struggle against drugs but is almost impossible to quantify the effect we have had on drugs without knowing how reality would be if we had never had a “war on drugs” at all.

    theNimrod said:
    July 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    this is the type of article that i’ll leave on the toilet for my fiance to find.

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