Facts with Hope
FACT: Research published this month in the American Journal of Public Health reports that alcohol is to blame for one in every 30 cancer deaths each year in the United States. The connection is even more pronounced with breast cancer, with 15 percent of those deaths related to alcohol consumption. The study also found that drinking even small amounts of alcohol was harmful--30 percent of all alcohol-related cancer deaths are linked to drinking 1.5 drinks or less a day. The researchers concluded that while moderate drinking has been associated with heart benefits, in the broader context of all the issues and all the problems that alcohol is related to, alcohol causes 10 times as many deaths as it prevents.1
HOPE: This research validates God’s counsel in Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise” (NIV). But praise God, there is Christ-centered help available! If you or someone you love needs support in breaking free from alcohol, check out the resources available at AdventistRecovery.org.
FACT: A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that youth with a deployed military parent or sibling use drugs and alcohol at a higher rate than their peers. The research was based on data from more than 14,000 responses from youth in grades 5-11 in the 2011 California Healthy Kids Survey.2
HOPE: With the long wars waged in Afghanistan and Iraq, the number and length of deployments for active U.S. military members are higher than any time in history. Isaiah 58 provides a God-inspired plan for negating some of the effects of deployment on veterans and their families. What can your church do to carry out that plan in your community?
FACT: Nonalcoholic red wine is associated with a greater reduction in blood pressure than regular red wine. In a recent clinical trial, 67 men at high cardiovascular risk were randomized into three four-week treatment periods in which they drank red wine (30 g alcohol/day), the equivalent amount of dealcoholized red wine, or gin (30 g alcohol/day). Results showed that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly after the dealcoholized red wine intervention, and these changes correlated with increases in plasma nitric oxide (NO), which protects against heart disease. During the red-wine phase, the men had a small reduction in blood pressure and a small increase in NO, while there was no change in blood pressure and a small reduction in NO while drinking gin.3
HOPE: The researchers note that although the blood-pressure reduction associated with nonalcoholic red wine was modest, reductions of this magnitude have been associated with a 14% decrease in coronary heart disease and 20% reduction in stroke risk. They concluded that the polyphenols found in red wine are the likely mediators of the blood-pressure reduction and that alcohol appears to weaken their antihypertensive effect.
FACT: A nationally representative survey of about 5,400 adults found that 18% of men and 11% of women exceeded the limits set by the U.S. Agriculture Department for daily alcohol consumption. The heaviest drinkers were 31- to 50-year-olds in men and 51- to 70-year-olds in women.4
HOPE: Excessive drinking is an important health problem and is not limited to youth and young adults. The Adventist church has a history of involvement in the Temperance movement in America since the late 18th century. Today, as your church works to promote a positive message about healthful living, consider how you can include awareness activities and education about the risks of alcohol use in all age groups.
- Nelson, D. E., Jarman, D. W., Rehm, J., Greenfield, T. K., Rey, G., Kerr, W. C., Miller, P., et al. (2013). Alcohol-attributable cancer deaths and years of potential life lost in the United States. American Journal of Public Health 103(4), 642-649. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301199
- Gilreath, T. D., Cederbaum, J. A., Astor, R. A., Benbenishty, R., Pineda, D. & Atuel, H. (2013). Substance use among military-connected youth. American Journal of Preventive Health 44(2), 150-153. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.059
- Chiva-Blanch, G., Urpi-Sarda, M., Ros, E., Arranz, S., Valderas-Martinez, P., Casas, R., Sacanella, E., et al. (2012). Dealcoholized red wine decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure and increases plasma nitric oxide. Circulation Research 2012. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.275636.
- Guenther, P. M., Ding, E. L. & Rimm, E. B. (2012). Alcoholic beverage consumption by adults compared to dietary guidelines: Results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2010. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 113(4), 546–550. doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.12.015,