It seems like every week there’s a new important study on alcohol which manages to contradict all of the old important studies that came before it. Take for example a study released earlier this month in Psychopharmacology that says that people who drink alcohol after seeing a crime occur are more likely to remember what happened than sober people. Does that mean the drunker you are the more you remember? It’s similar to a scene from the comedy romp Beerfest — in which one of the characters needs to be plastered in order to remember how to get to the aforementioned Beerfest, because the first time he went there he was blitzed. (Or, in a more grim example, the book The Girl on the Train).
If history tells us anything, this study will likely eventually be proven wrong. So, before we take these findings as the gospel truth, let’s take a look at some other alcohol popular alcohol studies that were soon refuted by other booze-based findings.
1. THE HEART OF THE ISSUE
STUDY: Alcohol Is Bad For Your Heart
According to a study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology back in early January, long-term alcohol abuse has been linked to heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. So, pretty much if the cirrhosis doesn’t get you, a heart attack will.
TOTALLY CONTRADICTORY STUDY: Alcohol Isn’t Bad For Your Heart
Rejoice, a new study determined that alcohol is not only not bad for your heart, it might even be good for it. Last month, The BMJ published a study in which it found that drinking a few beers or glasses of wine might actually lower your chances of several heart conditions. So, drink up to keep your heart healthy. At least until this study is proven wrong too.
2. WEIGHTY MATTERS
STUDY: Heavy Drinkers Are Thinner
So says a study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Not only are angry drunks less likely to be obese, but they are also less likely to have diabetes. Researchers studied 98 Finnish men and found that those genetically more prone to angry outbursts while inebriated were less likely to be overweight and have resistance to insulin.
The problem? It’s not really worth the potential health benefits if nobody wants to be around you when you’re drinking.
TOTALLY CONTRADICTORY STUDY: Heavy Drinkers Are Fatter
Regardless of whether or not you’re an angry or happy drinker, your odds of being overweight increase when you throw back the booze early and often. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the high empty calories that come with heavy drinking can lead to obesity and diabetes.
So it doesn’t really matter if you’re mad, you’ll probably still be overweight.
3. WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
STUDY: Living Near a Bar Makes You Happier and Drink Less
Living in proximity to a bar or pub will make you happier. This is according to a study from Oxford University. The research was done by the Campaign for Real Ale and they found that people who frequent pubs near their homes were much happier than those who didn’t. It makes sense. If you have a neighborhood watering hole, you’re likely to have friends who also like to grab a drink there. The study also found that you’re more likely to socialize and drink less.
TOTALLY CONTRADICTORY STUDY: Living Near a Bar Makes You Unhappy and Drink More
According to a study by Finnish researchers in 2012 in the Journal For The Study of Addiction, if you live near a bar you’re more likely to drink to excess. They studied over 55,000 adults over seven years and found that people who lived with a mile of a bar were less happy and more likely to binge drink.
4. THE CURE OR THE DISEASE?
STUDY: Drinking Alcohol Stops You From Getting Sick
Recent research suggests that a glass of wine or a cocktail (especially while traveling) is beneficial to your overall health. Airplanes in particular are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. It’s been proven that the most contaminated place on the plane isn’t the toilet seat, it’s your tray table. So, before you rest your hands on that filth-covered ledge, order a gin & tonic. The alcohol will kill the bacteria you’re about to inadvertently ingest.
This way, you won’t have to make an emergency run to the bathroom mid-flight. Nobody wants that.
TOTALLY CONTRADICTORY STUDY: Drinking Alcohol Will Make You Sick
We were told that alcohol kills bacteria in our stomachs and stops us from getting sick. Well, according to recent research, too much alcohol will negatively affect the bacteria in your stomach. Too much booze (similar to using too much hand sanitizer) will totally put the whole intestine bacterial environment out of wack and can potentially make you really sick.
So what’s the point of sharing these conflicting studies? Perhaps it’s simply to say, “Science is still unclear, but drinking in moderation seems like a good call.” That may not be as splashy as next week’s big booze study, but it’s a reasonable idea that we can all toast to.