Health Check: does alcohol have medicinal properties?

Health Check: does alcohol have medicinal properties?

With Christmas fast approaching, there'll be more opportunity to imbibe in this form of 'Christmas Cheer'. Also, many of us wonder at diagnosis or when undergoing treatment whether we should cut back or totally refrain from alcohol. Then to confuse matters, we hear news items saying that moderate drinkers actually show a slight health benefit from imbibing, so which is it?

Merlin Thomas, Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, looks at the evidence for health benefits associated with moderate drinking and whether wine is better than beer or spirits:

Note: this article just provides a general overview of the medicinal or otherwise benefits of drinking alcohol; it is not CLL specific. Check with your medical team on the advisability of drinking in your particular circumstances.

Neil (an atypical Aussie teetotaller)

Photo: Newly planted vines (in the white tubes) in an area renowned as one of Australia's finest wine regions. It is particularly known for producing world class red wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Australia's first saint was recently canonised for her work in a nearby town for those liking a puzzle of where this photo was taken :)

4 Replies

  • An Australian Red for Christmas is a very nice idea.

    With CLL the less and less I drink, strangely the more I enjoy it - funny the benefits of CLL.

    So perhaps I'll just imagine it during treatment :-)

    Can you quantify an Aussie teetotaller ?

    Best Regards,


  • Cheers to all ,

    Almost makes me want to

    start drinking again if

    I could just drink one.

    Three years sober.

    Bless you all.

  • Good on you. That's one reason I never became a drinker. Not easy to do at an Australian party many years ago where you'd get a drink forced into your hand or made to feel an outcast for not drinking...

  • Just to say that with lots of finger food dips at crowded Xmas parties, the stomach bugs are back but my brother-in-law's solution works a treat. The moment you feel something begin to rumble but you're not hungry take a double brandy or whiskey immediately and it knocks out the bugs. Works every time - purely medicinal of course!

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