So-Called Moderate Drinking Study Actually Studies Severely Heavy Drinking

A recent article in Neuroscience titled “Moderate drinking? Alcohol consumption significantly decreases neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus” purports to study moderate drinking and prove that even moderate drinking may have a severely negative impact on the formation of brain cells. This experiment studied rats whose average BAC was kept at a level of 0.08 (the legal limit for drunk driving) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for two weeks straight. So who here considers beer for breakfast and drinking 24/7 to be moderate drinking?

Since the average human being metabolizes one standard drink every ninety minutes it would require at least sixteen standard drinks per day to maintain a BAC of 0.08. This is 112 standard drinks per week. However, the NIAAA definition of moderate drinking is no more than 4 drinks per day and 14 per week for a man and no more than 3 per day and 7 per week for a woman. The amount of alcohol given these rats corresponds to 8 times the definition of weekly moderate drinking for men and 16 times the definition of weekly moderation for women. In fact it corresponds to levels typically found in severe alcohol dependence and maintenance drinking to prevent death from alcohol withdrawal.

This is just another example of fraudulent science being harnessed into providing false conclusions to feed the scare tactics of the alcoholism treatment industry

How can you tell when someone schilling for the alcoholism treatment industry is lying? His lips are moving.

References

M.L. Anderson, M.S. Nokia, K.P. Govindaraju, T.J. Shors. “Moderate drinking? Alcohol consumption significantly decreases neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus.” Neuroscience. Volume 224, 8 November 2012, Pages 202–209. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22906480

Copyright © 2012, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network

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About Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is the author of the book How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. He is also the founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.
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