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Crazy Headline I Read: Alcohol Doubles Lifespan

by David Lauterbach
2012 January 21

Click for "Old Man Drinks"

I love posting about articles I find that boast the benefits of alcohol. Examples include how alcohol can help with Alzheimer’s disease, how drinking is good for your bones, and how women who drink are thinner than their teetotaling counterparts. So imagine how happy I was to discover the news that “Alcohol Doubles Lifespan, Helps Resist Stress.”

“Pour yourself another one, quickly, as scientists have proven that alcohol can double life-span,” led the article. “Shocked,” were the scientist involved.

Moderate levels of alcohol delivered an increase in longevity among test subjects in a recent study led by Steven Clarke, a UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry. The booze boost was particularly strong for test subjects put under stressful conditions, with the scientists noting that the addition of small amounts of pure alcohol produced significantly more robust looking subjects, compared to a control “teetotal” group.

So you can imagine how saddened I was to discover that the test subjects in this case were worms–though the “scientists” believe the research is highly likely to be applicable to humans.  Aparently worms are often used as a model in experiments into human aging. The scientists were stunned to see that it doubled the lifespan of worm larvae from an average of 10-15 days to 20-30.

This may stun scientists, but as a human (and a drinker) I am offended that my aging process can be compared to that of a 1mm long roundworm that lives 15 days… and that we would share the same proclivity toward alcohol. And how do you know if the worms are stressed? I think I have a lot more stress in my life than any damn worm might ever have. I call shenanigans.

Click bait (and in this case, fish bait) articles such as that one aside, I recalled and re-read an older article from Reuters that said drinking was good for increasing your lifespan, and no worms were involved. So I’m happy to report in the end that drinking does indeed lengthen your life; and in my own studies, it does indeed reduce stress.

Maybe alcohol won’t double your lifespan, but if we get the same 15 extra days as the worms, then I’ll take it.

Via The Register.

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