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Thursday Thorns
Do You Think You Ought To Drink Less

By Charles Olken

I have a healthy regard for the medical profession. Almost every doctor I know is a wine drinker, and that makes them OK with me. So, when I was asked recently, “Do you think you ought to drink less?”, I listened.

Of course, I also answered in the negative to such a silly question. But it set me to thinking. There I was, lying in a hospital bad, having been diagnosed with pneumonia, and someone who is updating my charts asks how much I drink and do I think I should drink less.

Now, if I had told this person that I was consuming a half bottle a day, I could possibly have understood why the second question followed the first in rapid order. But my answer to question number one was “five drinks a week”. OK, maybe I was kidding. Maybe I had a bad feeling about what was coming next. But, if a response of “five drinks a week” triggers the question “do you think you need to drink less?”, then I certainly chose the right dodge.

Wine in moderation, meaning up to two glasses a day, is good for many of the things that ail us or might ail us. I do not often get to that level, but I certainly do on occasion. There are days, and Monday was a good example, when tasting through a batch of heavy reds leaves me wanting a glass of orange juice or a big jug of seltzer water with lemon. The last thing I want to put into my mouth is another glass of wine.

I belong to a rather large medical organization, and much of the early research about wine and health was conducted by one of its cardiologists. Another of its cardiologist is the head of the Medical Friends of Wine. A few years ago, I spent some time in the care of an internal medicine doc who owns a vineyard. I had to change optometrists at this large organization because the guy I was seeing spent all his time quizzing me about what to drink. And then he got the prescription wrong. I now have a very nice young woman eye doctor, and she does not quiz me about my job. I think my file must have big tag on the front that reads, “This guy knows something about wine”. I don’t mind. Let the docs want to pay a little extra attention.

I’m down with all of that. I just don’t understand why so many of the docs love wine while someone else is asking me if I would like to cut back from five glasses of wine per week.


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Online Edition
by Ted Bruce
Posted on:7/14/2011 5:32:26 PM

If I raed the 7/1/11, which I received on 7/14 and only live in Auburn, letter correctly, starting with the September issue I will no longer receive a printed edition in the mail. I almost always receive the maile edition about the 10th so having the online edition available the 1st of the month will be nice. I have two binders of CGCW printed editions and like perusing them. Having the online edition available to download will be nice.




Drink less?
by D. Jones
Posted on:7/22/2011 8:12:09 AM

I heard years ago that a safe limit on alcohol intake for a healthy person is about one ounce ethanol per day, i.e., 8 oz of 12% wine or 2.5 oz of 80 proof liquor.  Has this been updated?  Can this be adjusted for body weight and age?

Alcohol and Health
by Charles Olken
Posted on:7/22/2011 9:34:53 AM

Mr. Jones--

The specifics are a little beyond me, but it is generally agreed that one to two glasses of red wine per day have beneficial health effects.

I think that I should not offer further medical advice, but do suggest that you can find more discussion about this topic through an Internet search.

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