July 12, 2024
News Opinion

MICHAEL WOLSEY: ‘Google your vice and you will undoubtedly find a survey that makes a virtue of it’

HAVE you broken your New Year’s resolution yet? A survey says 75% of resolutions survive the first week of January but only 15% of them are still unbroken by the first week in February. So you only need to hold on for a few more days if you want to join the elite.

Too late for me, I’m afraid. I had resolved not to read any more silly surveys or ridiculous research reports.

They are hard to resist, though, because they offer the ultimate feel-good formula and there is one for everyone in the audience. Google your particular vice and you will undoubtedly find a survey that makes a virtue of it.

Mine are many and varied. One is wine. I am particularly fond of red wine. And a very wise choice that is, for it is almost the elixir of life … surveys say.

Scientists at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University found that red wine increases levels of good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol. And when they ran a test on people who drank either wine or water before going to bed they found that the wine drinkers slept better.

And don’t worry if you dislike red wine. No need to change your drinking habits, just try another survey.

Doctors at America’s world-famous Mayo Clinic have found that white wine or beer might be just as beneficial as the red stuff. “There’s still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-healthy benefits,” they concluded.

Researchers at Harvard University came up with the bad news that drinking alcohol is linked with a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. But then came the good news. The danger wears off after 24 hours for people who only drink a glass or two. “After the 24 hours have passed, the moderate alcohol intake can improve blood flow, blood vessels’ lining function and reduce clotting,” said the university’s Dr Elizabeth Mostofsky.

“Regularly drinking small amounts of alcohol in the long term appears to both increase levels of HDL cholesterol, the so-called good cholesterol, and reduce blood clots.”

So the moral is – if you are going to drink, make a regular habit of it. It will help you fight the flab. Seems unlikely, I know. But who am I to argue with Washington State University. Researchers there found that an ingredient in red wine, called resveratrol, could help turn flab into calorie-burning brown fat.

And researchers in Korea found that another wine compound, piceatannol, has the ability to block the processes that cause fat cells to grow.

If you prefer white, have a look at the study from the University of Hohenheim in Germany. It found that a diet with 10 per cent of energy coming from white wine was effective in weight loss.

Researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine found that resveratrol helped prevent age-related memory decline.

And research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that red wine could be the answer to bed bugs. Seems the bugs prefer blood that isn’t tainted by alcohol. What bugs me is their preference for white over red, but what else could you expect from a nasty little insect?

Scientists at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, found that women who drink red wine in moderation are more fertile than those who do not.

And researchers at the University of Buffalo, in New York state, topped them all, by concluding that red wine helps us to live longer and healthier lives.

In researching this, I came across a study from the University of the Real World. It found that most university surveys are not worth the papers they are written on.

You can ignore that one. It’s obviously fake news.

*Contact Michael on news@kilkennynow.ie 



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