Alcohol lets the good times roll, study finds

Study suggests drinking can banish bad memories – for a time.

Finally, good news about alcohol

About 82 per cent of Australian adults consume alcohol, which means that every time a new study comes out detailing the dangers of alcohol for our health, about 82 per cent of us feel slightly more depressed.

Until now.

We’ve uncovered a study that suggests drinking alcohol may actually be good for you. 

It comes out of Brown University, on Rhode Island in the US, bless their little hearts, and it suggests that drinking may help you banish bad memories and remember only the good things.

These researchers say that alcohol “hijacks” the pathway that forms memory. One drink changes this pathway for an hour, while three drinks can change it for 24 hours.

This hijacking affects a gene involved in coding whether a memory is pleasing or unpleasant, and changes a protein the gene makes, which in turn makes you form “craving memories”.

In other words, alcohol replaces bad times with good times, which may explain why we forget being sick or how we actually got home.

Senior author Dr Karla Kaun, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Brown University, told the Daily Mail that she had been interested in why drugs of abuse, be they alcohol or opiates, produce rewarding memories despite being neurotoxins.

“We wanted to understand what the molecular basis of that is and why they cause cravings.”

The team used fruit flies for the study because they are attracted to alcohol and the molecular signals that form their memories of reward and avoidance are similar to humans.

The study found that alcohol affects a gene called the D2-like receptor, which encodes whether a memory is pleasing or unpleasant.

Naturally, the doomsayers – or should I say other health professionals – were quick to respond to any suggestion that alcohol could be good for you.

Addiction experts warned that, while alcohol can make you forget and even ease symptoms such as stress, worry and negative thoughts, the effect wears off in a short time. 

They say that alcohol can actually worsen symptoms associated with mood disorders, such as depression, because alcohol is a depressant. 

At least, as an older Australian, according to surveys, you are more likely than any other demographic age group to be comfortable with your alcoholic consumption.

And the least likely group to get drunk.

Well done for being so responsible.

Are you a responsible drinker? Are you truthful when your doctor asks about your alcohol consumption?


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Nov 2018
    Sounds like a nice rationalisation for drinking alcohol.
    15th Nov 2018
    Fruit fly study, interesting, I would not believe in this study at all. Everything I read about alcohol is detrimental to you health, it makes your liver work extremely hard which eventually can cause many health problems. Anyone interested in caring for their liver and health should read "Liver Rescue" by Anthony William. No alcohol is the best option. I would say that this study was funded by the alcohol industry to keep their sales up.
    15th Nov 2018
    No wonder there is an increase in dementia-like symptoms in older people, with articles like this around!I worked in the drug & alcohol field for over 20 years, and what I saw during this time scared me so much I gave up drinking altogether! Granted I was mainly working with drinkers who had developed problems, but from what I heard it didn't take too many "fun" times for it to become problematic. Even "social" drinkers can develop brain damage over time, and Christmas is coming up, so beware!
    15th Nov 2018
    I agree, drunkenness is a sign that damage is being done to the brain and the liver, and the damage it does to society is indescribable, we have a culture that is is normal to drink alcohol which is sad for children to grow up with drunk parents (and grandparents), even one drink can alter your thoughts, responsibilities and behaviors. And it is creating a health crisis too.

    16th Nov 2018
    When I read about the dangers alcohol causes I gave up reading. Honestly though I tell the doc how much I drink when he asks. I DO like my wine and whisky and a beer on a hot day. Grew up with the stuff in Europe at a young age and still enjoy it now in my 70s.
    People are not happy till we have a Govt health warning with skull and crossbones on every container we drink.
    22nd Nov 2018
    musicveg, took the words from my mouth. You can still google the advertising campaign (posters) the tobacco industry did years ago, some are hilarious and you would be disbarred if a doctor did that now. Seriously, the study was done on flys?
    22nd Nov 2018
    If you want the real facts on nutrition just have a quick browse through nutritionfacts. org by Dr Greger, can't recommend this data base enough. No smoking mice studies here.
    22nd Nov 2018
    I recommend this site all the time too, isn't it wonderful that there are doctors who are bucking the trend and seeking the real truth. Also GreenMedInfo is another interesting site.
    23rd Nov 2018
    GreenMedInfo, thanks for the info. I stumbled upon NutritionFacts years ago and can honestly say it saved my life, a big call but true.
    23rd Nov 2018
    I have been reading Anthony Williams books lately and they are really mind blowing, we can do so much to heal ourselves with food. He has a website and you can order his books from the library: Medical medium, Thyroid healing, Liver rescue. I love to encourage and share health insights, we have to weigh it all up and see what works for each individual.
    23rd Nov 2018
    Dr Greger published 'How Not To Die' and was a NYT bestseller, although I found researching his site has enough info/research material. Cheers for the recommendation, I'm always reading.

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