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Issue 68 - Dreamers in the grain

Whisky Magazine Issue 68
December 2007


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Dreamers in the grain

Health guru Galina Imrie looks at the health benefits of whisky and drinking.

Do you notice that every time you have a lovely, long civilised dinner with a good friend that involves high quality single malt, drunk slowly and with appreciation, at some point during the evening you feel intensely, almost palpably happy? This feeling of happiness and completeness is so deep, real and overwhelming, and at the same time so elusive that you realise you have been given a great gift. The conversation becomes intense, words acquire meaning and suddenly a lot of things that had appeared confusing find their proper place in your life, and you see the answers that you could not see before.

The next day you wake up feeling invigorated, your aches and pains and colds are gone, and the world is a much, much better place.

So, can drinking make us happy and can happiness make us healthy? Conversely, can drinking make us healthy and can health make us happy?

Professor Eric B. Rimm of Harward School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusettes, says: “Regardless of beverage choice, drinking up to 30g of alcohol on most days per week is associated with a 30-40 per cent reduction in coronary heart disease, a benefit which can almost entirely be explained by the beneficial effect of alcohol on cholesterol, fibrinogen and haemoglobin.” If anything, that's a good start, provided we average 30g a day at most – a large glass of wine or two to three shots of spirits.

There must be more to it, somehow. As a digestive health practitioner, every day I see clients who suf...

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