So if women would take aspirin every time they go drinking, pretty soon they’d rule the world?
Assuming, of course, that they don’t already?
Blogger’s Note: this is an example of a blog post that I’ve been sitting on for (at least) several days because I wasn’t satisfied with the titles I was coming up with, and for no better reason.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether I finally did find one I liked or just gave up on it.
The story – or, not a story, really. Just an article titled “Seven alcohol myths…debunked.” I won’t go through all seven of these “myths” here, just a few that caught my attention. First, don’t tell college students about this one:
Myth: Taking an aspirin before drinking will prevent a hangover.
Fact: In reality, the opposite is true. Research shows that aspirin actually increases the amount of alcohol that ends up in your system, which makes you get drunk quicker—and stay drunk longer.
Next, another reason it’s good to be a man:
Myth: Men and women who are the same height can drink the same amount—and get the same results.
Fact: Women actually process alcohol much differently than men—even when controlling for size. Men are generally leaner than women, but both genders have roughly the same size liver. This means that women clear more alcohol per unit of lean body mass than men do, releasing it into the bloodstream quicker.
More alcohol in the blood means women get drunk faster, and it also leads to another problem. Women have way less of the enzymes that break down alcohol in their blood, making it nearly impossible to go shot for shot with even their smallest male drinking buddy without getting far more wasted.
Myth: Alcohol kills brain cells.
Fact: Surprisingly enough, the opposite is true. Alcohol, in moderation, seems to have some positive health effects. And alcohol can actually create positive effects on the brain.
In fact, a 2005 study of 11,000 older women showed that alcohol can actually improve brain function and lower the risk of mental decline by up to 20 percent. Women who downed one drink a day scored as about 18 months “younger,” on average, on tests of mental skills than the non-drinkers.
I’m calling horse-hockey on this one: they reached the right conclusion, but for the wrong reasons. Alcohol does kill brain cells, and it does make the brain more efficient exactly because it kills brain cells.
It’s the Wildebeest Theory of Drinking. Just as the predators picking off older, weaker Wildebeest makes the herd stronger as a whole, alcohol (in moderation) makes the brain stronger as a whole by removing the weaker brain cells.
Clearly the researchers performing that study weren’t stopping off at the pub often enough.