Is Alcohol Good Medicine?

Several medical studies in recent years have been given widespread publicity because they seemed to substantiate the idea that moderate consumption of alcohol reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

However, an article in the October, 1994, issue of Health After 50 (a publication of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore) says that no one should take up drinking as a result of these studies. The article makes several good points:

  1.  Those who took more than one drink per day had a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, along with cancer, liver damage, and many other problems.
  2.  Antioxidants, the beneficial ingredient in alcohol, can be gotten without the risks of alcohol by eating deeply-colored fruits and vegetables (red or purple grapes, tomatoes, etc.).
  3.  Alcohol elevates estrogen levels in men and women, which lowers the risk of heart attacks, but elevates the risk of breast cancer in women and can result in a loss of potency in men.
  4.  Their conclusion was, if you don't drink, don't start. If you do drink, the risks are much larger than the benefits. You can do much more to prevent heart problems or strokes by exercising, following a low-fat diet, and not smoking.

This article was written by doctors, not preachers, but the Bible has said all along, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Proverbs 20:1). It also says, "Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder (Proverbs 23:30,31).--Jim Mullican via Central Haywood Church of Christ bulletin, Clyde, NC

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