We’ve all heard the toast — some of us in several languages (“à votre santé” ring a bell?). It appears that this toast has more behind it than most of us thought. Consider this recent article in TIME:
A new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does tend to increase one’s risk of dying, even when you exclude former problem drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.
Well, personally, this result is not quite “shocking” to me. After all, how can you have an “old drunk” if the drunk didn’t live long enough to be old?
All kidding aside, however, the article does speculate on the underlying issues:
One important reason is that alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health. As I pointed out last year, nondrinkers show greater signs of depression than those who allow themselves to join the party.
Well, I certainly hope that my readers will allow themselves to “join the party,” enjoy a drink, and participate in some social interactions on this blog. If for no other reason, do it for your health.
Let the lubrication begin. Cheers!