Drinking is for the young
During these booze-infused months it's a good time for an epiphany — that maybe you can't handle drink as well as you used to. Here's the reason why.
Once you're in your 40s, your body doesn't break down alcohol as efficiently as it once did. A stomach enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase chews off a few molecules of ethanol, creating acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct blamed for hangovers. Then a liver enzyme breaks apart the acetaldehyde in digestion, but a 60-year-old liver isn't going to metabolise alcohol as quickly as it used to and that increases the likelihood of worse hangovers.
Water is also in the mix — as we age the proportion of water in tissues declines, which means less water to dissolve alcohol. Meds may interfere too — especially those for blood pressure and anxiety. Alcohol can even exacerbate hot flushes for woman enduring menopause, so you can't even drink your way through that hormonal atrocity.
The answer is maybe stick to the clear spirits. A 2013 study found that bourbon led to worse hangovers than vodka. According to researchers, bourbon has 37 more times congeners than vodka.
A medical study, prompted by a famous fictional spy, to assess the health benefits of a shaken martini found that compared with sauvignon blanc or whisky, martinis have fewer phenols, the stuff in grapes. Some people may find drinks without phenols easier on their system, though no one knows why. (Via considerable.com)
Five (more) good news stories from 2019
1. Russian officials reported that alcohol consumption has decreased by 43 per cent since 2003. As a result, average life expectancy has reached its highest level.
2. More people are surviving cancer in Australia. Since 1989, the mortality rate has dropped by 32 per cent for men and by 21 per cent for women.
3. India's extraordinary sanitation drive. In the past five years, 90 million toilets have been built, 93 per cent of households now have access, and 500 million people have stopped defecating in the open.
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4. Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage. President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted "#LoveWon" after the vote, "We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country."
5. In 2019, Northern Ireland officially legalised the right of women to decide what to do with their own bodies, and the right of people to love and marry anyone they choose. (Via Future Crunch)