Nutrition

A Whisky Per Day, Keeps The Dr Away!

Whisky BarrelThe water of life - whiskey; but seriously, is it actually good for your health? Well, certainly, there are those who both support and oppose the notion of the "water of life".

I want to start off by covering the so called "benefits" of being a whisky drinker.

Sleep - whisky consumer prior to bed time is said to cause a deeper sleep, but naturally, this should be viewed with a pinch of salt. There is a fine line, it is said consuming a very small volume of alcohol, or in this case, whisky prior to bed time is beneficial. Contrastingly, studies have shown that alcohol reduces sleep latency; it also fundamentally negatively affects sleep architecture! So to claim that whisky helps you sleep, I would argue is a bit of an over-stretch of the truth.

Cancers - so the water of life is said to have cancer fighting properties - well, again this is somewhat accurate. A study carried out by the British Nutritional Health Foundation (2003) found that rats who had been consuming small volumes had observed considerable reductions in the mass of tumours. Unfortunately the evidence was not conclusive enough to satisfy a particular hypothesis - but hey, take from it what you want.

Whisky is also known to contain a large number of polyphenols which are known to reduce the effects of degenerative diseases! But interestingly, within some whisky brands there have been considerable volumes of polycyclic hydrocarbons (carcinogens) detected; therefore, consumption based upon cancer healing properties should also be taken lightly. Without doubt, these polycyclic hydrocarbons have been found within some of the lower quality products, which directly correlates to price; therefore, avoid the lower quality brands and aim for the higher quality purchases!

Diabetes - whisky may actually have some beneficial effects for individuals with diabetes, it really depends upon the individual, their medication and, certainly, diet. The liver metabolises alcohol preferentially; therefore when alcohol is consumed with food it actually stops the release of glucose into the blood stream. This, consequently, can help to reduce the risk of nocturnal hypoglycaemia.

De-stressing - the fact that alcohol being a relaxant is little bit of your interpretation. Fact is, no it's not. Alcohol affects a chemical in the brain called Gamma-Aminobutyrtic-Acid (GABA). GABA is the chemical that is responsible for controlling you stress and tension levels (amongst other chemicals). Therefore, once alcohol is consumed you shall feel more relaxed, but soon dissipates and with excess consumption; problems occur. I prefer to think of this as more of a chemical relaxation and not a natural relaxation technique.

Stroke and heart disease - Right, this does have some truth to it. In a study carried out by Dugsgupta (2010) actually found that t alcohol increases the levels of HDL Cholesterol within the blood, what does that mean? HDL Cholesterol is what you might call "good" Cholesterol and LDL Cholesterol, is what your "DR" would be flagging some serious concerns about. So basically HDL Cholesterol actually helps to break down thrombosis formations thriving within the coronary artery - fantastic! This, in turn, will help to reduce the chances of developing heart disease, and or having a serious stroke. Of course, consumed in moderation!

Please note that I am not a medical professional, just an interested blogger! So what's my conclusion? Well to be fair, you will have probably all drawn your won conclusion from what I have presented. Personally, I think that there is some truth in the health benefits of whisky, but of course, this has to be taken into account along with other factors.

Well folks, thanks for reading, and I am sure not going give up a wee dram of fine single malt.

Do you have any questions? Please ask.