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First published: 11 June 2019  https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14615

Abstract

Aims: The main aim of this study was to assess the relationship between parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use and their child's alcohol use. Secondary aims included assessing the relationship between attitudes reported by parents and those perceived by children, and between perceived parental attitudes and children's alcohol use.

Methods: Meta‐analysis of studies reporting on the associations between parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use and children's self‐reported alcohol use. Published, peer‐reviewed cross‐sectional and longitudinal studies were identified from the following databases up to April 2018: Medline, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Scopus and Web of Science. Quality assessment was performed by using guidelines developed by Hayden, Cote & Bombardier. Pooled effect sizes were calculated by using random‐effects meta‐analyses, if there were at least two studies that could be included per analysis. Of 7471 articles screened, 29 were included comprising data from 16 477 children and 15 229 parents.

Conclusions: Less restrictive parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use are associated with increases in children's alcohol use onset, alcohol use frequency and drunkenness. Children's perception of less restrictive parental attitudes is associated with children's alcohol use.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.14615

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How to use evidence to say what you want!

Conclusion:

When a headline sounds too good to be true, it usually is. There's nothing in this study to suggest that people should start drinking red wine to lose weight.

The potential effect of diet on the micro-organisms in the gut is a new and interesting field of science.

This study provides new evidence about a possible effect of substances found in red wine on the growth of micro-organisms in the gut, and suggests that this may affect the way the body works.

But the study has several limitations. Because it's cross-sectional, it shows us only a snapshot in time.

We do not know how the women's gut micro-organisms, BMI or red wine consumption changed over time.

This means we cannot say whether 1 of these factors may have been directly influencing the other.

Because it was an observational study, we do not know whether red wine was the cause of differences in BMI or gut micro-organisms.

Other factors may have been involved, such as women's overall lifestyles.

The researchers did try to adjust for the impact of some factors, but it's difficult to remove them completely.

Also, the study relied on women's reports of how much alcohol they drank. People often underestimate how much alcohol they drink.

We know there's a big downside to drinking alcohol, especially in excess. There's no "safe" level of alcohol consumption, but drinking less than 14 units of alcohol a week is considered low risk.

Regularly drinking more than this increases the risk of several types of cancer, stroke, heart disease, liver disease, brain damage and nervous system problems.

For people who enjoy an occasional glass of red wine and drink less than 14 units a week, this study suggests they may have more diverse gut flora.

But there's no reason to start drinking red wine in the hope of achieving improved gut health or losing weight. The study does not provide enough evidence of this

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BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE--Heavy alcohol consumption (three drinks or more/day for women and four drinks or more/day for men) is linked to alterations in immune function among people with HIV.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) looked at biological markers of innate immune function, a kind of immune response that acts quickly and non-specifically to new infections and pathogens. They investigated biological markers of three specific immune processes: systemic inflammation, monocyte activation and altered coagulation. Higher levels of biological markers for these processes have previously been associated with higher risk of death. In the current study, the researchers assessed self-reported alcohol use over time (three times over two years) and also measured alcohol use using a blood-based marker of alcohol consumption called PEth (phosphatidylethanol) that detects alcohol consumption up to about 21 days after drinking. Additionally they measured other behaviors and health conditions that could obscure the true relationship between alcohol consumption and these biomarkers.

"We found that people who reported drinking more alcohol or had high PEth had higher levels of these biomarkers of immune function. The fact that heavy alcohol consumption was linked to elevated levels of these biomarkers, which are linked to mortality, suggests that alcohol may be contributing to mortality risk through immune dysfunction among people with HIV," said corresponding author Kaku So-Armah, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM.

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Own your drunken decisions

If someone has done something wrong while under the influence of alcohol, we tend to give them a “get out of jail free card”, rather than hold them accountable for their actions. We also extend these excuses to ourselves…It turns out that while we might believe that alcohol changes our personalities, it doesn’t. You’re still the same person after a drink – your existing sense of morality left intact. So, while alcohol might affect how we interpret and understand the emotions of other people, we can’t blame our immoral behaviours on alcohol.

Drunken you has the same moral compass. And so, you are responsible for your moral and immoral actions, whether you’ve had a few drinks or not.

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About 70 percent of those who engage in simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use reported simultaneous use at least weekly

A new study from Penn State found that compared to people who only drank alcohol, those who used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously were more likely to drink heavier and more often. They were also more likely to experience alcohol-related problems -- like impulsive actions they later regretted.

"The results suggest that individuals who simultaneously use alcohol and marijuana are at a disproportionately higher risk for heavy, frequent, and problematic substance use," said Ashley Linden-Carmichael, assistant research professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State.

The researchers said the findings -- recently published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse-- also suggest that prevention and intervention programs should take into account not just alcohol, but also if people are using additional substances, as well.

According to the researchers, marijuana use is at an all-time high among young adults in the U.S., possibly leading to people using marijuana and alcohol simultaneously.

"The problem with simultaneous use is that it can affect people cognitively and perceptually, and also have an impact on motor impairment," Linden-Carmichael said. "There is a burgeoning area of research that is examining why people are using marijuana and alcohol together and what those effects are."

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