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Alcohol: Tonic or toxin - Podcast from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Mar 8, 2019

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) broadcast a podcast episode at the end of 2018 that we think is worth revisiting. “Alcohol: Tonic or toxin” looks at the history of alcohol consumption through the ages, as views about possible health benefits or health risks have fluctuated. The podcast focuses on the recent idea that wine consumption may have health benefits.  Throughout the 1990’s, a theory emerged that was referred to as “The French Paradox”. This referred to the apparent paradox of a high fat diet often consumed by French people, but the resulting low rates of cardiovascular disease. One theory put forward to explain this apparent paradox, was high levels of red wine consumption. However, it seems that this theory was put forward with the support of the alcohol industry, and resulted in significant increases in red wine consumption. More recent research has found very little evidence to support health benefits from red wine consumption, with growing evidence that there is very little evidence that any alcohol consumption has health benefits. Despite this, many people continue to believe that there are health benefits from wine consumption.

Listen to “Alcohol: Tonic or toxin” (55 minutes)