The Role of Politics on Medical Recommendations for Wine
There is a plethora of information floating around regarding the relationship between wine and health. But often times, it is the product of commercial, self serving advice from unqualified businessmen. People also look to dieticians, nurses, pharmacists, the internet and other unqualified sources of information. Your physician is the most qualified person to synthesize the current information and give advice.
Doctors often find themselves between “a rock and a hard place” with regard to recommending alcohol consumption to patients. There are definite benefits to moderate alcohol consumption, but there is also the damage caused by alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” conclusion to this dilemma. Physicians who pick one side are not only doing themselves an injustice, but also their patients.
The default answer to these questions is to recommend abstinence from alcohol. In the eyes of many doctors, this is inadequate considering the epidemiological studies and data concerning wine and health. Recently, physicians have developed an algorithm to help determine the risk involved with both sides.
The complexity of the human body and the politics of the medical industry complicate matters even more, but doctors still must advise patients on the best course of action. The cornerstones of Coronary Heart Disease prevention include weight control, lipid management by diet, stopping smoke, exercise and drugs. But after these, alcohol should be looked at as a potential treatment. However, there are certain circumstances where recommending alcohol would not be a good ides. These include high risk of alcoholism, liver disease, pregnancy, genetic risk of breast cancer, conflicting medications and religious/moral reasons.
Many doctors recommend moderate alcohol consumption to light drinkers without any of the special circumstances described above and at risk of Coronary Heart Disease. Many feel that a recommendation to drink is controversial, but in light of recent information, it seems to be justified.
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