As we approach the end of the much hyped and much commented on ‘Dry-January’ or ‘Drynuary’, it might be a good time to work out what to do next month. Will you choose ‘Februdrinky’ or ‘Februdon’ty’? Let’s try to give some sensible guidance.

The Paradox

 In 1819, Doctor Black, an Irish doctor, wrote from his observations and travels that angina was far less common in France than in Ireland. He attributed the difference to the French way of life as opposed to that of the Irish. However there was a typhus epidemic going on at the time in Ireland.

It is true that there is a comparatively low rate of heart disease in France despite a diet that includes plenty of butter and cheese. This has become known as the French paradox. Some experts, as they always do, have suggested that it is solely down to red wine.

wine cheese february

Did you need a reason to invite friends over?

Red wine by itself makes the all the difference. This has been something that has been heavily pounced upon by wine producers and the wider wine industry has fully supported. Can it be that simple? Will my heart be healthier just for the drinking of red wine? Is the French paradox that simply solved?

In 1996 scientists discovered and announced red wine—particularly when drunk with a meal—offers more cardiovascular benefits than beer or spirits.

Allow me to point out that beers and spirits aren’t often accompaniment to meals, before you say so. They also found out that coronary heart disease was lower in wine drinking countries than in beer or spirit drinking countries.

In 2018, it is now regarded as fact that red wine does contain various substances that could prevent blood clots, relax blood vessel walls, and prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad” cholesterol), a key early step in the formation of cholesterol-filled plaque.

This seems to back up Saint Paul who said drink a little wine for the stomach’s sake. The pendulum is swinging towards red wine not being quite as bad for your heart, especially with meals, as other alcoholic beverage choices, or is it?

If it doesn’t seem to really be a positive, is it just a lower negative? This could be what you need to know for Februdrinky.

2003 saw a report examining the drinking habits of more than 38,000 men over a 12-year period. I don’t know why it was single gender. Moderate drinkers [and there isn’t a definition, or is there?] were 30 to 35 percent less likely to have had a heart attack than non-drinkers. Looking good for moderates!

This reduction was observed among men who drank wine, beer, or spirits, and was similar for those who drank with meals and those who drank outside of meal time. Therefore it seems that it doesn’t matter what you drink or whether it’s with a meal or not.  

wine february

Moderate is…?

Now the final suggestion is the one that should swing you one way or the other, once you’ve completed your dry January.

The study suggested that the frequency of drinking is actually what may matter the most. The finding stated, for all the world to debate that: Men who drank every day had a lower risk of heart attack than those who drank once or twice a week.

Therefore, if you have survived January ‘dry’, and managed to avoid a heart attack you are the lucky one. Those of us who partook and avoided a heart attack are statistical proof.

Oh and one last thing to ponder on. Once or twice a week drinkers were classed as lower than moderate, and those that drank every day were not classed as over moderate drinkers.

Odd world, chin chin and choose Februdrinky if you want to, you know what makes sense.


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