Here’s to Your Health! Drink Red Wine to Beat Cancer

Written by: Fruzsina Molnar
Two glasses of red wine

Drink a glass of red wine to beat breast cancer, study reports.

While most scientists and physicians have widely held the belief that all alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer, a new study in the Journal of Women’s Health has found one alcoholic beverage that’s the exception to this rule: red wine. Glenn Braunstein, M.D., and his colleagues at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have shared results showing that the skins of red grapes contain certain chemicals called Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs), which can actually decrease the likelihood of a premenopausal woman developing breast cancer.The results, published online on December 7, 2011, may indicate good news to those women at-risk for breast cancer who still like to have a glass of wine with dinner — they will just need to choose the red over the white, which does not contain the AIs.The study compared the effects of drinking one 8-ounce glass of Cabernet Sauvignon versus Chardonnay each night with food for 21 days, and then switching so that the groups drank the reverse for another 21 days (the women were instructed to abstain from consuming either wine during their periods). Braunstein and his co-authors found “evidence that red wine, through the hormonal shift patterns, may not elevate breast cancer risk like other alcoholic beverages.”

The way that the AIs work is by preventing “the conversion of androgens to estrogen,” and they “occur naturally in grapes, grape juice, and red, but not white wine,” said the article. Other alcohols have been previously determined to raise estrogen levels in women, which is a key risk factor for breast cancer.

But these good results do come with a warning from Dr. Braunstein himself, who wrote in a Huffington Post article about the importance of taking your wine with a grain of salt, so to speak. He cautioned, “The choice to drink moderately will depend on who you are. A fit 25-year-old marathon runner with no family history or cardiac disease and no additional risk factors who doesn’t drink now probably won’t gain anything by joining a wine of the month club. Meanwhile, a man well into his AARP membership with little risk of cancer and some concerns about heart disease, may as well keep his nightly glass of wine with dinner if that’s his lifelong custom.”

The most recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control note that in the U.S. in 2007, over 200,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, with over 40,000 of those women died of the disease. “Except for skin cancer,” writes the CDC website, “breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.”

The Journal of Women’s Health study’s co-authors include Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D., M.S.; C. Noel Vairey Merz, M.D.; YuChing Yang, Ph.D.; Joan Kirschner, M.S.N., N.P., Donna Polk, M.D., Frank Stanczyk, Ph.D., and the late Maura Paul-Labrador, M.P.H.

3 of New York City’s Best Gourmet Cocktail Bars

Written by: Fruzsina Molnar
Mayahuel interior

The interior of Mayahuel, a gourmet cocktail bar specializing in mezcal.

If you’re looking for a night out on the town this weekend but are sick of the regular sports bars, dive bars, or loud dance halls, try something a little bit classier and more subdued. Go with one of New York City’s best traditions: a gourmet cocktail bar, or speakeasy. Around since the Prohibition Era of the 1920s (or at least pretending to be), these little bars will serve you distinctive, expensive cocktails (don’t go unless you’re willing to shell out) with a side of old-fashioned charm and candlelit ambience. Many of them have hidden entryways that lend not only an air of romantic secrecy, but also makes you feel kinda special for knowing “where to get in.” Here are my favorite picks:
1) Little Branch.Located at the corner of South Seventh Ave. and Leroy St., this charming spot is run by the owners of Milk & Honey. Ask for the bartender’s choice–just pick your liquor and tell the bartender your mood and he or she will whip you up something extraordinary. Come on a Thursday or Sunday evening and you might catch a live jazz set, too. And don’t try to skip the line, because it won’t work.

2) Mayahuel. Not your grandparents’ traditional speakeasy, this joint on East 6th St. and Second Ave. is known (perhaps unsurprisingly, given the name) for its cocktails made with mezcal. A veritable book of menus will be presented to you upon taking a seat, so, again, don’t be shy about asking the bartender for his or her choice. If you’re not a huge tequila fan, there are plenty of cocktails made with other liquors, too.

3) Angel’s Share. Not far from Mayahuel at 8 Stuyvesant St. in the East Village, Angel’s Share is a real treat for those who want some mystery and intrigue with their drinks. When I mentioned secret entryways, this is the bar to which I was referring. You’ll have to enter through the Japanese restaurant on the second floor, through a secret doorway that’s the transition between the brightly-lit sushi joint and the candlelit, old-fashioned bar lying behind it. Take a seat and bask in the velvet armchairs, admire the gorgeous decorations, and sip at one of hundreds of speciality cocktails, including one that uses bacon-infused bourbon!

So next time you’re in the Big Apple and looking to treat yourself or a loved one to some masterfully-concocted potions, try one of these enchanting little cocktail bars. You might have to search for it, as none of them have any visible signage, but it’s worth it!

Alcohol – The Forbidden Fruit

Written by: Michael Arnold

College and drinking. The words have almost become synonymous. We’ve all seen National Lampoons, Animal House. But in American colleges this sort of exaggerated lifestyle has become pervasive.

Animal House

National Lampoon's Animal House

How often are college kids drinking, and what are the real effects? Has the use of alcohol transformed from a casual party starter to an unhealthy way of life? In fact, it has.

Studies have shown that 31% of American college students currently meet the criteria for alcohol abuse. The consistent use of alcohol sustained for four years can easily become habitual and lead to alcoholism after college and throughout life.

The serious danger of alcohol abuse doesn’t only apply to the long-term. A 2009 study reported that 97,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-induced sexual assault or rape. A startlingly large figure that will only increase as college communities continue to embrace excessive alcohol consumption as a premier social hobby.

Despite schools’ exhaustive efforts, each new class of college freshmen extols binge drinking as the god of socializing. It is a reality that will never go away unless if one thing is changed – the drinking age. Although an irony, a lower drinking age will actually change the image of alcohol for many youths.

American universities are the only institutions that deal with the trouble of excessive on-campus drinking, because they exist in a country in which the legal drinking age is 21.

European universities don’t experience these problems because the culture forces youths to mature at a younger age. With a barely enforced legal drinking age of 18, France’s adolescents generally have their first experiences with alcohol well before the average American. By the extension of this fact, when they are of university age French youths tend to have already learned how to drink and how to behave with alcohol.

At the Cité Internationale Université de Paris, a large public college on the outskirts of Paris, binge drinking is virtually a non-issue. In fact, students are even permitted to drink publicly on-campus. This notion would be far-fetched to an average American student.

That’s because alcohol has become the forbidden fruit at American colleges. Binge drinking and excessive partying is not only fun because it alters one’s senses, but also because it is taking a risk and doing what’s against the rules. The result: churning out year after year of Americans damaged mentally and physically by years of excessive drinking.

If lawmaker’s would realize that a 21 drinking is not going to change college atmosphere’s, but actually continue to downgrade them, then perhaps there would be a noticeable change in the college party culture.

Correlation Proven Between Alcohol Consumption and Benign Breast Disease

Keep yourself protected, lay off the booze

A recent study shows that adolescent girls and young women who regularly consume alcohol have a higher risk of benign breast disease in their 20s, which is a determining factor in breast cancer development.

The “Prospective Study of Adolescent Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Benign Breast Disease in Young Women” was published in the May issue of Pediatrics, and it consisted of 16 to 23 year old girls answering a series of questions regarding alcohol use, and then about any diagnoses for benign breast disease, two or more years later.

These bottles may do more than you realize

Participants were all part of the Growing Up today Study of more than 9,000 girls from all 50 states, who are all daughters of Nurses’ Health Study II participants. The study began in 1996 by Brigham  Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The reuslts indicated that girls who drank six to seven days per week had five times the risk of biopsy-confirmed benign breast disease as participants who never drank, while young ladies who drank three to five times a week had three times the risk.

These correlations heighten the concern since alcohol intake by college students has recently increased at a drastic pace. Some suggest working to delay the onset of blood alcohol consumption and reducing the amount consumed may work to prevent some instances of benign breast disease, and breast cancer.

Cobb County Cop Drowns, Witnesses Change Story

Sgt. Brett Stephens

No other information regarding the drowned Cobb county police officer, other than the fact that alcohol was involved. As the story goes, however, nobody is sure how intoxicated Sgt. Brent Stephens was when the 22-foot “shore boat” collided with a bouy, flinging him into the dark waters late Thursday evening.

Dark water is unimaginably disorienting

Spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Robin Hill, explained that no criminal charges would be pressed unless a reconstruction of the accident proves that some fishy went down. However, while the DNR upholds the law of the lake, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office filed misdemeanor charges against the driver of the boat, and a woman who was also present when Stephens – according to Reda – jumped off the boat as a prank. Sgt. Ken Reda, and Shelley Powell were charged with obstruction and providing false statements for allegedly falsifying their testimony regarding who was involved, and what the circumstances of the event entailed.

Authorities realized that Reda had failed to make the 9-1-1 call for 90-minutes, while he tried to hide the fact that a third person was on the boat. Once he made the all, he stayed on the line for 47 minutes, anxious and exasperated as he tried to explain the situation to the dispatcher.

On shore, Reda was confident his ex-park-ranger friend made it to dry land: Sgt. Stephens will be missed.

Study Shows How the Youth’s Suffer Developmentally from Underage Drinking

Drinking age is 21 also for biological reasons, apparently

Despite the legal drinking age being 21 within the United States, alcohol is still abused by minors; as it turns out, alcohol consumption can not only interfere with the developing adolescent brain, but it also renders the youth more prone to future alcohol-related issues.

Alcohol can impede a developing brain fro reaching its full potential

A recent statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) titled, “Alcohol Use by Youth and Adolescents: A Pediatric Concern,” was published in the May issue of Pediatrics, and it illustrates the risk factors that young kids face: friends who use alcohol, tobacco, or other substances; community patterns of ingestion; and finally, exposure to alcohol advertising. The organization is also expected to provide specific recommendations concerning management tools and treatment programs that could benefit a troubled individual. There will also be more information regarding substance use screening, intervention, and referral for treatment.

Additional research is recommended by the authors, who put forth the topics of prevention, screening, identification, brief intervention, management and treatment. The recurring process is still needed if there are going to be any improvements made upon the evidence-based practices; nonestheless, in time there will be no need for any more drunken human ginea pigs, once everything is figured out, and kids learn that there are better things to do than alcohol.

Give yourself time to get bored with them, before you crack open a can of liquid courage.

Study Supposes a Third of Elderly Drinkers Over 60 Consume Excessive Amounts of Alcohol

1/3 over 60 drink too much

Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have published a study, which found that more than a third of drinkers who are 60 years of age and up consume excessive amounts of alcohol that could potentially put them at risk, especially if they drink in conjunction with certain diseases that they may have, or medications to which the patients are described.

Data was collected from 3,308 older patients who were all accessing primary care clinics found throughout Santa Barbara California, and published in the current online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The report suggested that the number of individuals who drank in combination with comorbidities or medication was the same as the amount of patients who were put at higher risk by simply drinking alcohol alone.

Grab the bottle, and you’ve got a problem

Other significant statistics included:

a) 34.7 percent (1,147) of older adults were at risk due to drinking alone or to a combination of alcohol and comorbidities or medications; 19.5 percent fell into multiple risk categories.

b) Of the participants who were at risk, 56.1 percent fell into at least two risk categories, and 31 percent fell into all three.

c) Participants that didn’t graduat from high school were 2.5 times more at-risk for drinking than those who had completed graduate school.

d) Respondents with annual household incomes from $80,000 to $100,000 were 1.5 times more likely to be at-risk than those with incomes below $30,000.

e) Respondents 80 years or older had half the odds of at-risk drinking as those between the ages of 60 and 64.

f) Oddly enough, Asians had less than half the odds of at-risk drinking as Caucasians.