Dear God, they don’t stop, do they?

Middle-aged people should go teetotal to reduce the risk of dementia, health watchdogs have said.
Guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence on how to protect against the condition suggests that even drinking within Government safe limits can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The new advice says the public should be advised that there is “no safe level of alcohol consumption” and calls on GPs to tackle the middle-aged about lifestyle behaviours linked to the condition.
Research has found that one third of all Alzheimer’s disease cases can be linked to lifestyle factors –such as exercise, obesity, smoking and alcohol.
Current Government advice – which is under review – suggests women can drink two to three units of alcohol a day (one 175ml glass of wine) and men three units, without compromising their health.
The new Nice advice says drinking any alcohol can increase the risk of dementia, disability and frailty, advising GPs that people should be encouraged “to reduce the amount they drink as much as possible.”
It suggests Britain’s “social norms” when it comes to alcohol “need to be challenged”.

Smoking linked to Alzheimer’s? Doesn’t it prevent it?

25 thoughts on “Dear God, they don’t stop, do they?”

  1. Funny no-one’s ever seriously investigated the effects of aluminium cooking utensils upon the onset of old age dementia. As to the rest of the health-nazi’s prescriptions, moderation in all things. You’d think that after getting the fats thing so wrong, a little circumspection would be called for.

  2. @ K.R. Lohse
    that it a very old and thoroughly debunked scare story. Aluminium cooking utensils are, as near as damnit, 100% safe. It was the aluminium sulphate that the municipally-owned water companies put into reservoirs as a cheap way to purify the water that was the cause of absorption of aluminium which was allegedly “linked” to Alzheimers.

  3. I’ve always presumed the avoidance of consuming alcohol was a sign of impending dementia.
    I refuse to be dissuaded on this.

  4. I’ll have to do some digging here, but as I recall, alcohol consumption (less than 5 proper drinks a day, say 10-15 units) significantly increases life expectancy. In sciency-speak, the mortality curves are J-shaped. I suspect Nice, just like the rest of the health service, is trying to reduce costs by advocating policies that reduce the elderly population, the most prone to dementia. If so, they should have the guts to say ‘smoke more’ as well.

  5. Rob w,
    Yes the curve is J-shaped. One theory is self-selection: people who are already in poor health don’t usually compound it by drinking alcohol. The jury is out though.

  6. > If so, they should have the guts to say ‘smoke more’ as well.

    Maybe this wasn’t Tim’s meaning, but I had inferred that he meant smoking prevented Alzheimer’s by precisely the mechanism of killing smokers before they developed it.

  7. Dear Mr Worstall

    I am sure studies will show that there is no safe level of government. To limit the damage done by government we should not have more than 1-2 units of government per day. This compares with current levels of around 27 units per day

    Next: plain packs for government with graphic warnings.


  8. “The new Nice advice says drinking any alcohol can increase the risk of dementia, disability and frailty, …”

    Well, that’s easily explained: you live longer by not being a sanctimonious dry pontificator. Then you suffer from the diseases and other frailties of great age.

    Best regards

  9. As Christopher Snowdon points out, they are a Longevity movement, and that only. Two years of shit life at 88 is worth 60 years of miserable abstinence. As most of Britain very sensibly rejects that, they instead try to legislate their opinions.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    The curve is in here: but there’s still some arguments around it, as you’d expect. Also note that since this relationship was discovered the argument from the banstubators morphed in to binge drinking, and then they made us all guilty of that.

    Anyway, having Alzheimer’s in the last couple of years of life at least spares having to listen to the hectoring public health fascists

  11. Just wanted to check a couple of other things that I vaguely remembered. Alzheimers and other dementias are delayed in ‘moderate’ drinkers. Epidemiology studies only, as you would expect: Thought to be due to better cardiovascular health. Smoking seems to also delay onset or have no effect. With a genetic susceptibility, smoking and drinking heavily will increase risk substantially. This is hardly unexpected as heavy smoking and drinking are usually indicative of lifestyles that lead to very poor cardiovascular outcomes. In other words, the NICE bastards are lying again. As they are about statins, which decrease life-expectancy, but reduce mortality due to heart disease.

  12. Oldies, (like me), are frequently prescribed statins, proton pump inhibitors, ACE inhibitors, etc., etc,

    All of these can have deleterious side effects yet they are dished out like candy.

    PPIs for instance can limit the uptake of minerals such as magnesium leading to brittle bones and other muscular/skeletal deficiencies.

    But the side effects of these powerful drugs that plague some people are ignored and the quacks keep prescribing them, while with alcohol the side effects are stressed while the benefits most people experience are ignored.

  13. Well, sex is dangerous. Plenty of problems associated with sex. Diseases, unwanted children, shotgun weddings, emotional trauma (when Miss Honey-Hottie from the Maldives changes overnight to Mrs Jelly-Botty from Wolverhampton ), the list goes on.

    Maybe we should just stop having sex, except for procreation purposes.

    A certain Dr Kellogue had this idea and came up with a way of ensuring it. Fucking cunt.

  14. That’s depressing. Fortunately it’s only ten minutes until lunchtime, and I shall have forgotten it by the time I get back from the pub – my memory isn’t what it was you know…

  15. “people who are already in poor health don’t usually compound it by drinking alcohol”: one minor contribution to that effect is that ill people have to take pills, some of which are NOT TO BE TAKEN WITH ALCOHOL.

    P.S. I’m always struck by the bad English there; you could interpret the shout as telling you not to swill down the pill with a bevvy, rather than a total bossy bevvy ban.

  16. My father suffers from vascular dementia, which followed a series of strokes, which came mainly as a result of his 60 years of smoking. So fags might stave off the Alzheimers but they are not much help in keeping away dementia. He’s also got COPD, which is not a bundle of giggles.

    I don’t think cigarettes have anything to recommend them, especially now we have vaping as an alternative way to get nicotine. All the cash I spent on cigarettes in a decade or so of smoking would have been better invested in more fun drugs.

  17. No, they don’t stop.

    And they never will, unless we rise up and hang them all.

    Perhaps a more civilised approach would be to point and laugh; or my own alternative, which is simply to pay no attention to them whatever.

    I recommend this to everyone.

  18. I love this forum. I like the posters with Scottish names like Andrew and Kevin, the posters that sound like brands of malt like Glen Dorran and the ones that sound like names of craft beers like ‘Bloke in. . .’ and dearieme.
    Who was it on here who said ‘better to burn out than fade away’? I’d get him a drink for sure.

  19. I am 64 and I drink more than the quack thinks is good for me, but I Enjoy it! So they can all fuck off and stuff their statins and hectoring where the sun don’t shine. I also take the same positive attitude to the Green piss crowd of whiners and now set out to increase my carbon footprint whenever I can. The latest subversion is the best, I now pay the fuckin 5p for a bag I don’t need and then put it in the wrong bin, small things but very satisfying…

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