Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 13th January 2024

Thinking Of Doing Dry January? Think Again

Contrary to the increasingly negative propaganda about drinking, unless you’re a heavy drinker, going without booze for a month won’t improve your health - in fact possibly quite the reverse. That’s the startling take-home message in the latest book from award-wining medical journalist Tony Edwards.

'The Very Good News About Wine' draws on the findings of half a century of international medical research. showing that, far from alcohol being injurious to health, sensible (i.e. not insensible !) everyday drinking has remarkable health benefits, particularly if you drink wine. This highly readable survey of some surprisingly positive medical evidence is a must-read for drinkers keen to maintain their health - and even perhaps for non-drinkers to see what they’re missing.

For centuries, the French and Italians have believed wine to be good for one’s health. Recently, however, medical authorities have rubbished the whole idea. For example, in 2016 Britain’s Chief Medical Officer said wine’s 'supposed' health benefits are 'an old wives’ tale'.

But is that true ?

Medical research journalist Tony Edwards, who has received both Silver and Gold 'Medicine in the Media' awards from the British Medical Association, emphatically says no. Drawing on the findings of over three hundred medical studies, his book sets out the evidence for wine and health, answering some key questions:

Are wine’s 'supposed' health benefits really imaginary?
What diseases is wine best at preventing ?
What’s the ideal wine intake for optimal health?
Why does wine not put on weight?
Is there much difference between red and white wine?
Is alcohol-free wine healthier than the real thing?
Are the official ‘alcohol guidelines’ correct?
Are there any extra benefits from organic and biodynamic wine?
Is Dry January a good idea?
How to continue to drink wine safely.

The author says:
“Why do Dry January? To prove to yourself you’re not an alcoholic, virtue signal or improve your health ? 0ne or more of those certainly. But if health is your main motivation, and you are normally a moderate drinker (of wine, especially), you could be shooting yourself in the foot. For, as my book shows, 50 years of medical evidence demonstrates two related but counter-intuitive discoveries: 1. drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is good for one’s health, 2. drinking no alcohol at all can have similar health outcomes as drinking too much.

"Dry January was first invented ten years ago by a UK ‘charity’ called Alcohol Change, with a single purpose: 'to reset after a month or two of holiday festivities'. Fair enough perhaps after an over-indulgent Christmas, although your body doesn’t need a whole month to recover - a week would be enough. The problem is that Alcohol Change is not content with a mere month of abstinence: it’s now invented Sober September, Sober October and three whole months of Sober Spring. There soon won’t be many more days in the year for drinkers to quaff a bevy or two without looking over their shoulders to see who’s eyeing them accusingly. It’s beginning to look like a return of the Temperance Movement by stealth... and all in the name of health.

"A powerful cabal of medical lobbyists is now seeking to put alcohol in the same category as tobacco. But that’s obviously ludicrous. While smoking causes dread diseases of which lung cancer is only one, alcohol does the reverse - by actually preventing a wide range of diseases.. Nowhere is this clearer than with wine-drinking, whose health benefits are truly astonishing. I feel strongly that people should be aware of the real health evidence about drinking, and not swallow the propaganda from politicised medics and anti-alcohol activists. Hence the need for this book.”

Here’s what top medics said about Tony Edwards’ first book:
“Science writer Tony Edwards has gathered the evidence about the health effects of alcohol from medical journals and processed it in a very understandable way, and with a great sense of humour.”-Professor Karol Sikora, Leading Cancer Specialist

“Exceptionally well-written book, very well-balanced conclusions, informative yet entertaining.”-Professor Curtis Ellison, Boston University School of Medicine
“Very impressive work indeed.” - Professor Thorkild Sorensen, University of Copenhagen

“Recommended reading for doctors and a great majority of their patients. Understandable and accurately presented.” - Dr. Thomas Stuttaford, Leading UK medical columnist

About the author:
Tony Edwards is a former BBC TV producer/ director/ writer, with over 80 science documentaries to his credit. After the BBC, he wrote on science, technology and medicine for The Sunday Times, Readers Digest, Daily Mail and a wide variety of medical magazines.

Published on 15th December 2023, 'The Very Good News About Wine' is available in paperback (ISBN No: 9798869550675) priced £10.99 from Amazon, or as an E-book£4.99.