Alcohol: Can it ever be healthy?

Alcohol: Can it ever be healthy?


For many of us, it's a ritual to help us wind down after a long day, an excuse to catch up with friends, or a lubricant to an awkward social situation. Alcohol can be delicious, but our relationship with it is often complicated. 

Good times with friends aren’t without sacrifice, and many of us feel the morning after impact of a few too many drinks. For an unfortunate minority, alcohol can lead to addiction and even death. 

What we want to know is, can alcohol ever be healthy? Is any amount of alcohol a sure path to an early grave, or could a glass of red wine be the best thing for your heart health? This episode examines these contradictions to see what the science says. 

Jonathan speaks to two leading scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol:

Tim Spector - scientific co-founder at Zoe and one of the top 100 most cited scientists in the worldDr. Sarah Berry - one of the world's leading experts in human nutrition, with over 30 randomised human clinical trials to her name

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00:00 - Intro

00:10 - Jonathan’s introduction

01:25 - Episode start

01:45 - Tim’s favourite alcohol

02:24 - Is red wine healthy?

04:56 - How does alcohol relate to our microbiomes?

08:41 - What’s the cause of alcohol's positive effects?

11:16 - The importance of the amount of alcohol consumed

15:47 - Understanding the adverse effects of alcohol

17:48 - Why do hangovers get worse with age?

21:41 - Does alcohol influence weight?

24:48 - Alcoholic beers vs non-alcoholic beers in relation to sugar

28:34 - Avoid alcohol if you have these conditions!

29:54 - How does fermentation of beer differ from kombucha?

32:21 - Organic and natural wine

35:10 - Summary

38:03 - Outro

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This podcast was produced by Fascinate Productions.

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