There is all kinds of propaganda telling us that it’s bad to drink, period. But there’s still another school of thought — backed up by research — which holds that booze in moderation can actually have health benefits. And when it comes to alcohol taken “strictly for medicinal purposes” (of course), you can’t get much healthier than good Scotch whiskey. After all, as the director of the Scotch Whisky Association, points out (via BBC News), the word “whiskey” comes from “uisge beatha”, which is Gaelic for “water of life.” Among the surprising benefits of drinking Scotch whiskey every day are its potential for reducing heart attack and stroke risk, warding off cancer, and helping to prevent dementia.
Scotch is good for the heart
Per BBC News, the Rowan Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, tested wine, a 12-year-old cask-aged malt scotch, and a newly-distilled whiskey to determine the health benefits of each. They found that both the red wine and the scotch “[raised] the body’s levels of antioxidants” and “helped to protect against coronary heart disease,” but the non-aged whiskey had no such benefits. We should mention here that the study was partially “sponsored by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute,” so take that info for what it’s worth.
The study found that while red wine had a higher level of the beneficial chemicals called phenols, the body is actually able to absorb a higher proportion of the phenols contained in Scotch whiskey. Canadian Pharmacy King also supplies the information that “scotch acts as a natural blood thinner.” This effect allows it to help reduce the risk of blood clots that could lead to heart attacks or strokes.
It may also help cure cancer and dementia
Another beneficial compound found in scotch is the antioxidant known as ellagic acid. While ellagic acid is found in all types of alcohol, research presented at the EuroMedLab conference found single-malt Scotch whiskeys to have the highest amounts, per Canadian Pharmacy King. The same outlet noted that ellagic acid may be beneficial when it comes to suppressing tumor growth, possibly destroying or “preventing the replication of cancer cells,” and even mitigating the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy. There has even been some evidence that ellagic acid, specifically that found in Scotch whiskey, may “reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia while improving cognitive functions,” although only if consumed in small amounts, of course. Which brings us to the central question: Is that warm nightly nightcap actually good for you?
Unfortunately, the Rowan Research Institute study (via BBC News) concluded that the boosted heart disease defense and raised antioxidant levels observed were only “achieved by drinking just once a week.” Sorry, Ron Burgundy. And, of course, downing an entire bottle won’t do much to improve your immediate cognitive abilities — and should you actually have been willing to do this, then you most likely weren’t thinking much at all. Hindsight’s a b*tch – but please accept our condolences, along with this list of hangover cures.
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