Friday, September 3, 2010

Drink! You'll live longer, a new study suggests

Time magazine published an article on Monday, quoting a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The research found that heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers. Good news for many people, including myself. And a perfect Friday subject for The Second Opinion Tribune.

The story comes with a note of warning: alcoholic beverages are not eternal-life-elixirs. There are rather annoying illnesses associated with alcohol, like cirrhosis and certain kinds of cancer. And a drunk crossing the street is more likely to be hit by the last bus than a sober person.

It is unclear why the controversial findings cropped up. One of the reasons thought to be instrumental in boosting a drunk's life expectancy is the fact that drinking is a social activity. It is well known that social interactivity is conducive to a longer life. 

It seems some of us are screwed then: the lonely drunks. The ones downing their single malts in quiet contemplation of life, the world and everything. Those who abscond from the pressures of a social life

To be slightly drunk makes life so much easier. The difficult questions that pester one during the day become irrelevant. The mind chooses higher plains to wander on than the mundane world of taxes, bank accounts in the red, pesky managers and the general malaise caused by a life just ebbing away in a river of profound pointlessness.

So allow me to make a statement that is based on sober self-observation, so no scientific validity should be attached to the following: all drinkers probably live longer. Even if the amount of social interaction you have resembles that of Richard Dawkins at a bishops convention. 

Instead of a yearly holiday wherein you forget the earthly worries, the brain takes a daily break. Every day it throws caution to the wind and flits around, free as a butterfly on a summer's day. The brain is allowed its fairy tales that become as much truth as the chewing out received by that much too successful too young, new manager.

A daily dose of alcohol may be bad for the liver, but provided you have brain cells to spare - and lets face it, most of us do - it does wonders for your peace of mind. Your health!

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