"Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none. " -- GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators

Do you ever just have a laidback, friendly conversation about food?


The safest level for mountaineering is also none. Many other things too. So let’s just stop all that “enjoying life” nonsense, shall we?


Dude. I don’t know what is going on. You are repeating everything I said. Earlier, I said the problem is animal-human translation, and then you proceed to lecture me on exact that. Then in my last reply I wrote a couple of paragraphs about comparator: “A challenge of selling a drug is about safety and/or efficacy data from a comparator…” , and now you again said the same thing. What exactly are you telling me that I didn’t already say?

I don’t think you really want to say Calm down and take a step back. You need to read more carefully instead of having a reaction.

The bottomline is this. You don’t need a large sample size if there is a large difference and the data have small spread. This is statistic 001. To insist you need >200 to show anything is to have it backward. The important thing is that if the sample size is sufficient to demonstrate a statistic significant. It either does or does not. For the topic about alcohol, it is just that. Instead of demanding the study to have >200 subjects. In the case of alcohol effect, we are not talking about comparing alcohol with an existing standard of care. We are talking about alcohol vs no-alcohol. This would be the same as comparing a drug with no drug (placebo or not), not a comparator. You don’t need a huge data set to show that.

But we are not comparing alcohol vs non-alcohol as the clinical readouts but their effects on diseases and here the effect window will be very small and you will therefore need a large patient number to see clinical statistical significant differences for any conclusions.

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Ohhhhhhh my. Yes, I’m responding to my own post because I’m not really directing this to anyone in particular this thread just reminded me of another reason I drink (well besides that pesky alcoholic thing)…witnessing debates for the sake of just debating. I mean it’s ok to have a difference of opinions, hell different strokes for different folks it’s what makes the world go round’…

Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum,
What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
A man is born, he’s a man of means.
Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans.

But they got, Diff’rent Strokes.
It takes Diff’rent Strokes.
It takes Diff’rent Strokes to move the world.

Everybody’s got a special kind of story;
Everybody finds a way to shine.
It don’t matter that you got not alot.
So what?
They’ll have theirs, you’ll have yours, and I’ll have mine.
And together we’ll be fine!

'Cuz it takes Diff’rent Strokes to move the world,
Yes it does.
It takes Diff’rent Strokes to move the world.


Exactly. You said it. No beneficial dose.
“Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none. This level is in conflict with most health guidelines, which espouse health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day.”

The more specific point I was getting at was that the “no beneficial dose” blanket “recommendation” is really for the entire population at large, factoring in quite a few unrelated causes of potential “harm” (including drunk driving, for example), which have a major impact on the “health” of some the sub-groups the meta-analysis controlled for, but minimal impact on others. And there may (still) be some “hard” potential benefits for some groups (meaning, decreasing certain health risks), and then of course there’s the emotional/psychological component which the study ignores completely.

Medical professionals (in general) (and for that matter people in general) often casually refer to “self-medication” in a derogatory way, but there’s something to be said for a “medication” that humans have evolved with over millenia, versus recently developed pharmaceuticals that have a host of (often only vaguely acknowledged) negative side-affects and which, when you come down to it, often aren’t aren’t nearly as effective across the board as Big Pharma would like everyone to believe. (A dirty little semi-secret of the pharma industry is that many studies tending to show little if any benefit from many antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are never published at all, skewing the publicly-available data over-strongly in favor of showing their effectiveness.)

I guess my bottom-line point is that while statistics is obviously an important and very useful research tool, one must never forget its First Principle: “statistics don’t apply to individuals”. And one could say with almost equal accuracy that they also apply very well to small groups of people, and especially not when the groups in question aren’t adequately “controlled for” in the statistical analysis.


Of course that should’ve read “that they also don’t apply very well to small groups of people”.

Or closer to home: driving (especially private/individual vehicles) and walking across streets with traffic.:wink:

Here’s something to stir: Alcohol and Cooking

If I had no interest in having an argument with Honkman after a week, I have even less interest in arguing with you 30 days later, especially when you’re linking something that was discussed extensively several years ago when this first was published.


So you didn’t pardon the pun? Fine, be that way!

Seriously, I was wondering about cooking with wine and such, after reading some of this, so nevermind the segue. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

But the subject matter covered in that article is really an entirely different topic. Not uninteresting, but with virtually no bearing on the topic of this thread, at least not unless you regularly “cook” with amounts of alcoholic beverage (per serving) in quantities similar to what a person would consume if actually drinking them as a beverage (which is pretty unlikely). I don’t know what exactly you were “wondering about” in connection with the article, but there’s no reason not to start a separate thread about it.

Here’s another article, if spelling it out a little more helps: Cooking doesn’t actually ‘burn off’ the alcohol in food

Everyone processes alcohol differently, but the food clearly had an impact on Lawton.
By the end of the meal, he is visibly buzzed.More importantly, his blood alcohol level has skyrocketed — since it’s too high for his BAC meter to calculate accurately, the device simply reads “HI.”

In my opinion, the only thing that article shows is that the editor of “New Science” (the person who is the subject and data collector of the article) is not a scientist. Edit: and neither is the writer of the article.


Drug testing is not necessarily scientific: “No federal regulatory approval or rigorous trials are required for a urine-testing firm to introduce a new product or process”. People have lost jobs or careers over alcohol in food, etc. So I think this reflects that the safest level of alcohol in food is none too.

EtG, short for ethyl glucuronide, is a unique metabolite of alcohol that stays in urine for up to 80 hours – four times as long as does alcohol itself. Earlier, detection of alcohol had been difficult because it dissipates so quickly. The wider window of detection made EtG an instant hit with drug courts, professional licensing boards and other agencies that monitor sobriety – and an instant star of the urine-testing industry, which is performing tens of thousands of EtG tests per month in the U.S.
However, SAMHSA officials say the industry never conducted the large-scale clinical trials needed to prove EtG isn’t prone to snare the innocent. No federal regulatory approval or rigorous trials are required for a urine-testing firm to introduce a new product or process.
Even after evidence emerged that the EtG test could detect incidental exposure to alcohol in food and the environment, many urine-testing firms continued marketing the screen as definitive proof of alcohol consumption. Some continue to do so. “EtG is not detectable in urine unless an alcoholic beverage has been consumed,” says the Web site of a urine-testing firm called AccuDiagnostics LLC. An AccuDiagnostics spokesman attributes that claim to toxicologists at laboratories to which it outsources its samples.
At industry giant Quest Diagnostics Inc., the director of the Salt Lake City laboratory conceded during a July interview that exposure to alcohol in foods or medicines could produce a positive EtG score. After The Wall Street Journal published a page-one article on Aug. 12 about EtG tests, Quest removed from its Web site a claim that “EtG is not detectable in urine unless an alcoholic beverage has been consumed.”
Many urine-testing firms say that they merely provide the EtG results and that their clients – drug courts or professional licensing boards – bear responsibility for deciding whether a positive finding represents proof of drinking. But some urine-testing companies themselves have guided clients to interpret positive results as proof of drinking. On a laboratory report stating that Nancy Clark, a Pennsylvania nurse, had an EtG score of more than 300 nanograms per milliliter, National Medical Services included the statement that “any value above 250 ng/ml indicates ethanol consumption.”
Ms. Clark has passed a polygraph test stating that she hasn’t drunk, and her 12-step group awarded her a medallion in May honoring five years of abstinence from alcohol and drugs. But two positive EtG scores prompted Pennsylvania to suspend her nursing license early this year. Now, the 20-year veteran of nursing waits tables at Charlie Brown’s Steak House in Reading, Pa.
The state has argued that it wasn’t accusing Ms. Clark of drinking, only of failing to produce clean urine.

Why are we now moving on to urine testing, which has no relevancy to any aspect of any posts in this thread?

I’m out on this one.


This thread is wacko.


Because it’s a level of drinking, duh. If people are failing drug tests due to that, then it is not considered safe by those enforcing this kind of zero tolerance policy.

Well, no offense my friends, it was just something that occurred to me when I read the title, because I’m used to that level of scrutiny (zero tolerance, as in “none”). It seems that people tend to distinguish between “drinking” alcohol and cooking with it, although there really is no distinction for the sake of determining alcohol “consumption”, and that goes for the premise of this topic as well (where drinking really means consuming alcohol in any kind of concoction, especially if one is subject to random alcohol testing). I since noticed that some of my dijon mustard had white wine in it… :eye: duh!