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Christina DeLay is co-founder of Altina Drinks, a social enterprise hoping to tip Australia’s drinking culture on its head with a range of alcohol-free cocktails. She’s this week’s changemaker.  

What first inspired you to start a company that makes alcohol-free cocktails?

It was because of my own personal experience with drinking. I was working as a consultant in Canberra, and got quite caught up in the drinking culture of that industry – after-work drinks with your colleagues, business lunches, there’s alcohol at everything. When I cut back on the drinking, I realised what an important part of the social aspect of the industry going out and drinking was.

Were you surprised at people’s responses to you not drinking?

People around me really started to wonder what was wrong and why I wasn’t drinking. I was often asked if I was pregnant, and I would go to the bar and ask if I could have a water with a slice of lime in it to make it look like an alcoholic drink, to avoid those questions.

It really felt like it was me that had a problem, because I didn’t want to drink anymore. That was a real trigger to start having a bit of a conversation about more mindful drinking and drinking on your own terms, to counteract those social pressures that are in a lot of scenarios.

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January 17, 2019

A study of 84 twin/sibling pairs exposed to alcohol in utero shows that two fetuses exposed to identical levels of alcohol can experience strikingly different levels of neurological damage.  Risk of damage does not depend solely on the pregnant woman’s alcohol consumption; rather, fetal genetics plays a vital role, according to findings published today in the journal Advances in Pediatric Research.

“The evidence is conclusive,” said lead author Susan Astley Hemingway, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

From a public-health standpoint, she said, the biggest take-away is that a fetus’ genetic makeup is a determinant to the risk of neurological damage from a mother’s alcohol consumption.  To protect all fetuses, including those most genetically vulnerable, the only safe amount of alcohol is none at all, the report concludes.

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Breast milk is a live substance with unmatched immunological and anti-inflammatory characteristics that protect an infant against a variety of illnesses, infections, and diseases. It provides all the necessary nutrients a baby needs for its first six months.

Breastfeeding is deemed extremely beneficial and essential for both the mother and the child. However, it is essential to understand that nicotine and alcohol affect breastfeeding and harmful substances can be transferred to the baby through breast milk.

A recent study has noted a significant impact of drinking while breastfeeding upon children’s future cognition. Infants exposed to alcohol through breastmilk were found exposed to dose-dependent reductions in their cognitive abilities. The study, that appeared earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics, conclusively established that drinking alcohol while breastfeeding can impact the cognitive development of the child.

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New scientific study: No safe level of alcohol!

Published on Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (http://www.healthdata.org)  August 23, 2018.

3 million deaths in 2016 attributed to alcohol; ‘Massive health risks’

The study, published today in the international medical journal The Lancet shows that in 2016, nearly 3 million deaths globally were attributed to alcohol use, including 12 percent of deaths in males between the ages of 15 and 49.

“The health risks associated with alcohol are massive,” said Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the senior author of the study. “Our findings are consistent with other recent research, which found clear and convincing correlations between drinking and premature death, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Zero alcohol consumption minimizes the overall risk of health loss.”

It provides findings on prevalence of current drinking, prevalence of abstention, alcohol consumption among current drinkers, and deaths and overall poor health attributable to alcohol for 23 health outcomes, such as communicable and non-communicable diseases and injuries, including:

  • Cardiovascular diseases: atrial fibrillation and flutter, hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and alcoholic cardiomyopathy;
  • Cancers: breast, colorectal, liver, esophageal, larynx, lip and oral cavity, and nasal;
  • Other non-communicable diseases: cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol use, diabetes, epilepsy, pancreatitis, and alcohol use disorders;
  • Communicable diseases: lower respiratory infections and tuberculosis;
  • Intentional injuries: interpersonal violence and self-harm;
  • Unintentional injuries: exposure to mechanical forces; poisonings; fire, heat, and hot substances; drowning; and other unintentional injuries; and
  • Transportation-related injuries.

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What Intoxication Can Feel Like!

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