Patent No. 20090098075A1: Hops-Based Deodorant

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Today in 1963, US Patent 20090098075 A1 was issued, an invention of Chantal Bergeron, Stefan Gafner, and Jennifer L. Lafrance, for their “Hops-Based Deodorant.” Here’s the Abstract:

The present invention relates to deodorants and other body care products comprising a CO2 extract of the hops plant having bacteriocide/bacteriostat properties wherein the CO2 extract has a very low level of essential hops oils.

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So some deodorants today do list hops as an ingredient, such as the Tom’s of Maine line, all of which list Hops extract [CO2] and caprylic/capric triglyceride as one of the ingredients.

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Which on Tom’s website they have a separate page for each of the body care ingredients, including Hops extract [CO2] and caprylic/capric triglyceride:

What is it?

The hop plant is a perennial herb that grows in vines. Native to Europe, Western Asia, and North America, it is known for the speed and persistence of its growth. Most people are familiar with hops because of its role in beer-making, although it also featured in ancient kitchens and the medical recipes of herbalists. First widely used in beer by monks in 9th- and 10th-century Germany, the hop didn’t gain popularity because of its flavor. Instead, the “bitter principles” of hops exhibit antimicrobial behavior, making the ingredient an effective preservative and stabilizer. In 1516, Wilhelm IV, lord of Bayern, ordered that hops be one of the required ingredients in beer in his Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law). That law led to similar enactments in other countries and helped to standardize the use of hops in brewing. Hops’ distinctive bitterness has now become one of the familiar attributes of a typical beer. Only the female flowers, known as cones, are used in beer-making. For our deodorants, we use hop resins extracted from the cones.

What does it do?

Unpleasant odor is caused by skin bacteria when we sweat. The “bitter principles” that help hops to preserve beer also, it turns out, fight odor. Hops inhibits the growth of bacteria in our deodorant by causing leakage in the bacterial cell membrane, which impairs bacterial function and therefore prevents odor. We use hops in all but our Long-Lasting Roll-On Deodorants.

What are the alternatives?

Lichen (Usnea barbata) has been in our (and many other natural) deodorants since 1991, and it provided effective and natural odor protection. However, a minor percentage of the general population—often, those who tend to have fragrance allergies—may experience a skin reaction to lichen. Even though it’s a relatively uncommon reaction, we weren’t satisfied, and our scientists continued to search for ingredients with less irritancy potential. We also felt increasingly uncomfortable with the environmental drawbacks to using lichen. Studies have shown that the large-scale harvesting of lichen may not be sustainable given its long regeneration rates.

What are the risks?

Hops are believed to have sedative properties, but topical application in the amount found in our deodorant will not cause sleepiness. Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.

Patent No. 4148873A: Method For Treating The Skin With Extracts Of Hops

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Today in 1979, US Patent 4148873 A was issued, an invention of Joseph L. Owades, assigned to S. S. Steiner, Inc., for his “Method For Treating the Skin with Extracts of Hops.” Here’s the Abstract:

There is provided a new method of treating human skin to protect said skin from erythema-producing sunlight radiation while promoting tanning thereof, the method comprising using an active sunscreening ingredient, an ultraviolet radiation absorbing extract of hops.

This seems similar to another patent Owades was granted in 1981, Patent No. 1112183A1: Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract As Sunscreen Agent. That patent appears to have expired in 1998, and I’m not sure if his sunscreen was ever available commercially. This one’s more of a skin treatment, and I did find one that claims to use hop extracts, Balancing Oil Free Skin Conditioning Serum. While it doesn’t say so on the product’s main page, on another one, Benefits of Hops in Natural Skin Care, in which they state that “Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care utilizes the benefits of hops in Balancing Oil Free Skin Conditioning Serum. This multi-tasking product is for people who both do not want oil in a moisturizer and people and who are struggling with blemishes and wrinkles. They need a cure for both with one product. Balancing Oil Free Skin Conditioning Serum conditions and firms the skin while also healing and moisturizing.” So maybe that’s it, hard to say.

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Patent No. EP1412490A4: Mediating The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption By Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast

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Today in 2005, US Patent EP 1412490 A4 was issued, an invention of Joe Owades, for his “Mediating the Effects of Alcohol Consumption by Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast.” It seems to be virtually identical to Patent No. 2452476A1: Mediating The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption By Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast, which was issued to Owades two years before, on January 23, 2003. So if you’re feeling a sense of déjà vu, it’s not you. Here’s the short Abstract from the previous one. “A process for lowering blood alcohol levels in humans after they imbibe alcoholic beverages by administering active dry yeast before or concomitantly with the imbibing of the beverages.”

This is most likely the origin of the hangover prevention that Jim Koch, from the Boston Beer Co., has popularized over the years, but especially after Esquire magazine ran an article about it last April, How to Drink All Night Without Getting Drunk.

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The story got picked up by NPR, Serious Eats and even Snopes took a look at it.

But I’d actually heard Jim tell the story a couple of times at various events, most recently at a beer dinner last year at the Jamaica Plain brewery in Boston celebrating the 30th anniversary of Samuel Adams.

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In telling the story, Jim did, of course, mention that the idea came from Joe Owades, who had worked as a consultant with the Boston Beer Co. since the very beginning, and off and on thereafter. But I don’t think I’d realized before now that Joe had actually patented the idea.

The claim in the patent application describes it in a nutshell. “A method of mediating the effect of alcohol consumption by a person which comprises orally administering active dry yeast containing alcohol dehydrogenase to said person prior to or simultaneously with consumption of an alcohol-containing beverage, whereby to oxidize a portion of the alcohol while still in the stomach of said person.” His own testing of the method, shown in the figures below, found that “blood alcohol level-min. was reduced by 38% by the yeast.”

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DWB: Driving While A Brewery

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Late last year, a judge in Buffalo, New York, dismissed a case against a 35-year old teacher who was stopped and charged with a DWI. When Hamburg Town Police originally arrested the teacher, her blood alcohol was measured to be .33 percent, more than four times higher than the state’s legal limit. The first question is how on earth was she still alive? The second, is how is that possible? It turns out she suffers from a rare condition known as auto-brewery syndrome, or gut fermentation syndrome. The condition manifests itself “in which intoxicating quantities of ethanol are produced through endogenous fermentation within the digestive system. One gastrointestinal organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast, has been identified as a pathogen for this condition.” It can also give a false positive for being drunk, and has been used several times as a defense in drunk driving cases.

And that’s exactly what happened in this case, as reported by the Buffalo News reported in late December, Woman’s body acts as ‘brewery,’ so judge dismisses DWI. If that sounds about as realistic as a pregnant woman trying to get out of a fine for driving in the commuter lane (which has actually happened) it’s apparently a real thing, though is extremely rare. So don’t get any ideas.

This Guy Brewed Beer in His Stomach and the Mad Science Blog also tackled Auto-Brewery Syndrome. And even NPR has reported on the phenomenon. According to a report on CNN:

Also known as gut-fermentation syndrome, this rare medical condition can occur when abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert common food carbohydrates into ethanol. The process is believed to take place in the small bowel, and is vastly different from the normal gut fermentation in the large bowel that gives our bodies energy.

First described in 1912 as “germ carbohydrate fermentation,” it was studied in the 1930s and ’40s as a contributing factor to vitamin deficiencies and irritable bowel syndrome. Cases involving the yeast Candida albicans and Candida krusei have popped up in Japan, and in 2013 Cordell documented the case of a 61-year-old man who had frequent bouts of unexplained drunkenness for years before being diagnosed with an intestinal overabundance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer’s yeast, the same yeast used to make beer.

So while you may laugh — or I might at least — it’s apparently no fun for ABS sufferers. Better to raise your blood alcohol via the traditional way, ingesting beer brewed by a professional.

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Patent No. 3998761A: Shampoo Compositions Containing Beer Solids

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Today in 1976, US Patent 3998761 A was issued, an invention of Herbert H. Gary, William Bess, and Frederick Hubner, assigned to the Bristol-Myers Company, for their “Shampoo Compositions Containing Beer Solids.” Here’s the Abstract, along with some additional claims:

Shampoo compositions containing beer solids.

What is claimed is:

1. A shampoo composition suitable for conditioning hair comprising at least one detergent and a waste liquid beer sludge concentrate distributed in an aqueous medium, the beer solids contained in said composition comprising from about 4% to 20% by weight based on the total weight of the shampoo composition and wherein said detergent comprises about 10 to 20% based on the total weight of the composition.

2. A shampoo composition according to claim 1 wherein the beer solids contained in said composition range from about 6% to 9% by weight based on the total weight of the shampoo composition.

I’m not sure if this is the shampoo that resulted from this patent, but this was sold in the 1970s.

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Beer & Exercise

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Last week, the New York Times had an interesting piece about a pair of studies examining the relationship between exercise and beer, entitled The Close Ties Between Exercise and Beer.

My favorite bit is that in past studies “men and women who qualified as moderate drinkers, meaning they downed about a drink a day, were twice as likely to exercise regularly as teetotalers.” But that was for earlier, apparently less rigorous studies.

The first of the new studies was conducted at Penn State, which used test subjects already enrolled in a different health study, and found consistent results from the earlier studies.

When the researchers collated and compared the data from their volunteers, they found, for the first time, an unequivocal correlation between exercising on any given day and subsequently drinking, especially if someone exercised more than usual. As the scientists write in their study, which was published recently in Health Psychology, “people drank more than usual on the same days that they engaged in more physical activity than usual.”

This relationship held true throughout all seasons of the year and whether someone was a man or a woman, a collegian or a retiree. Age and gender did not affect the results.

Thankfully, the data did not show that exercise incited or exacerbated problem drinking.

The second study was published in Frontiers of Psychiatry — Exercise and Alcohol Consumption: What We Know, What We Need to Know, and Why it is Important — was a review of those previously mentioned previous studies. And the two seem to reinforce one another, coming to the same conclusions. And most worrying of all, at least for the prohibitionists who incessantly decry alcohol, “the available evidence suggests that exercise may encourage people to drink, [but] it does not indicate that this relationship is necessarily worrisome for the vast majority of us. Someone who drinks moderately is unlikely to become a problem drinker as a result of exercise.”

So moderately drink up, and keep working out, apparently both are good for you.

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Patent No. 1112183A1: Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract As Sunscreen Agent

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Today in 1981, US Patent 1112183 A1 was issued, an invention of Joe Owades, for a “Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract as Sunscreen Agent.” Here’s the Abstract:

There are provided new sunscreening compositions which are suitable for application to human skin, the compositions comprising as an active sunscreening ingredient, an ultraviolet radiation absorbing extract of hops.

And a Description adds more detail:

This invention relates to novel sunscreening compositions which include an ultraviolet radiation absorbing hop extract as an active sunscreening ingredient. The present sunscreening compositions, which are non-toxic and non-irritating and can be safely applied to human skin, prevent the penetration of harmful erythematogenic radiation while transmitting non-erythematogenic ultraviolet rays which promote tanning or bronzing of human skin.

Joe’s patent appears to have expired in 1998, and I’m not sure if his sunscreen was ever available commercially. I did find at least one brand of sunscreen that contains hops, Paul Penders Herbal Sunscreen SPF 22.
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Paul Penders Herbal Sunscreen SPF 22 lists “hops extract” among its ingredients though I’m unsure if that’s the same as what Owades patented. Here’s the ingredient list:

Aqua (Water), Cocos nucifera (Coconut) extract, Organic LevensESSENTIE Gold® {Angelica archangelica (Angelica) extract, Arnica montana (Arnica) flower extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flower extract, Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) flower extract, Sambucus nigra (Elderflower) flower extract, Zingiber officinalis (Ginger) root extract, Panax quinquefolium (Ginseng root) extract, Lonicera japonica (Honeysuckle) extract, Humulus lupulus (Hops) extract, Equeisetum hyemale (Horsetail) extract, Juniperus communis (Juniper) fruit extract, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) flower extract, Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) leaf extract, Urtica dioica (Nettle) extract, Centella asiatica (Penny wort) extract, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) leaf extract, Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary) extract, Salvia officinalis (Sage) extract, Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) extract, Curcuma longa (Turmeric) root extract, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel) extract, Archillea millefolium (Yarrow) extract}, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Titanium dioxide, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flower oil, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Glycine soja (Soybean) oil, Tocopherol acetate, D-panthenol (Provitamin B5), Citrus grandis (Grapefruit) seed extract, Sorbic acid, Phyto-tocotrienol (Vitamin E), Essential oil of Lavender officinalis (Lavender), Essential oil of Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary), Retinyl palmitate, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10).

Based on finding the one, I’m confident it’s probably not the only one, so maybe…?

Beer Birthday: Rick Lyke

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Today is the 54th birthday of Rick Lyke, a fellow drinks writer in North Carolina. Rick writes for a variety of publications and online at Lyke 2 Drink. It’s especially terrific that we can all celebrate Rick’s 54th today, because he fought and won a battle with prostate cancer, which prompted him to found the grassroots organization Pints For Prostates. Rick is a terrific champion for both great beer and men’s health. Join me in wishing Rick a very happy birthday.

Rick Lyke, Organizer of Rare Beer Tasting @ Wynkoop
Rick at the first Rare Beer Tasting at Wynkoop during GABF Week in 2009.

Carol Stoudt, Amy Dalton & Rick Lyke @ Rare Beer Tasting
Rick with Carol Stoudt and Amy Dalton at the first Rare Beer tasting at Wynkoop to raise money for his Pints for Prostates organization.

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Lew Bryson and Rick at the World Beer Festival in Durham in 2008.

Jeff Bearer, Stan Hieronymus, Stephen Beaumont, me and Rick Lyke @ Great Divide
Jeff Bearer, Stan Hieronymus, Stephen Beaumont and me with Rick at the Great Divide open house on the first day of GABF a few years ago.

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And finally, the ubiquitous Sam Adams brunch photo I use four times a year, with Daniel Bradford, of All About Beer, Jim Koch, Amy Dalton (who used to be with All About Beer) and Rick.

Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong

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Regular readers know that I’m frequently at odds with both the prohibitionists and the addiction community, usually meaning the people and organizations who profit from the status quo viewpoint like AA and others. As I’ve written before, I don’t think alcoholism is something everyone is at risk for and I definitely don’t agree that total abstinence is the answer. If you want any background to what I’m talking about, check out Tipping The Sacred Cows Of Addiction, What Is Addiction?, America’s Addiction Treatment Goal: Perpetual, Lifelong Abstinence or Recent Addiction News Roundup.

I’ve often argued that, from my own experiences, that there as many societal and individual factors for why any individual becomes addicted to something, and it seems to be that it’s the mind rather than genetics or biology that more often determines or causes it.

Here’s yet another powerful denunciation of the prevailing view, entitled Everything You Thought You Knew About Addiction Is Wrong, which looks at ‘experiments in the 1970s by famed professor of psychology Bruce Alexander,” which revealed “that more times than not, the real culprit in addiction is a lack of human connection.”

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And that makes perfect sense to me, as I’ve observed it’s usually something wrong in an individual’s life that causes them to become addicted to something, and the addiction is the result of that, not the problem in and of itself. The conclusion of the study was essentially “addiction is just one symptom of human disconnection,” and that it’s a more “complex disease” then simply “just say no” can address. Obviously, the video below uses heroin and cocaine as examples, but it’s just as applicable for any addiction, alcohol included. And frankly, it makes more sense than almost anything else I’ve read or heard, and yet seems curiously removed from the addiction debate even though apparently its findings are from the 1970s.

It was created by Kurzgesagt as part of a series for Patreon, and was “adapted from Johann Hari’s New York Times best-selling book ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.'”

Blaming Overeating On Drinking

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You know what makes you fat? It’s not food. It’s drinking alcohol. Wait, what? Yup, according to a study financed by the NIH, conducted by the Indiana Alcohol Research Center, and published earlier this year in the journal Obesity, researchers claim that what they’ve dubbed “the apéritif phenomenon” may be causing our obesity epidemic. Except that they’re not.

The self-described “internationally recognized news website” Inquisitr, under the category “Celebrity Health,” published an article entitled “Alcohol Sensitizes Brain’s Response To Food Aromas, Say Scientists — Is Liquor Responsible For Rising Obesity?” Naturally, Alcohol Justice gleefully tweeted the bad news as “new evidence points to alcohol’s role in U.S. obesity epidemic.” Except that, as I mentioned, the evidence does nothing of the kind.

The study that the article is based on is entitled The apéritif effect: Alcohol’s effects on the brain’s response to food aromas in women. Here’s the abstract:

Objective
Consuming alcohol prior to a meal (an apéritif) increases food consumption. This greater food consumption may result from increased activity in brain regions that mediate reward and regulate feeding behavior. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we evaluated the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response to the food aromas of either roast beef or Italian meat sauce following pharmacokinetically controlled intravenous infusion of alcohol.

Methods
BOLD activation to food aromas in non-obese women (n = 35) was evaluated once during intravenous infusion of 6% v/v EtOH, clamped at a steady-state breath alcohol concentration of 50 mg%, and once during infusion of saline using matching pump rates. Ad libitum intake of roast beef with noodles or Italian meat sauce with pasta following imaging was recorded.

Results
BOLD activation to food relative to non-food odors in the hypothalamic area was increased during alcohol pre-load when compared to saline. Food consumption was significantly greater, and levels of ghrelin were reduced, following alcohol.

Conclusions
An alcohol pre-load increased food consumption and potentiated differences between food and non-food BOLD responses in the region of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus may mediate the interplay of alcohol and responses to food cues, thus playing a role in the apéritif phenomenon.

The Indiana Alcohol Research Center “focuses on the elucidation of the biomedical and psychosocial factors that contribute to alcohol abuse and alcoholism,” which suggests to me they’re another group like the NIAAA, or National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (whose grant created the IARC), is exclusively interested in exploring the negative aspects of alcohol. And just like the NIAAA, it’s right there in their charter.

Curiously, yesterday the full text of the article was also online, but today it’s restricted. They start with the premise that “consuming alcohol prior to a meal (their “apéritif phenomenon”) increases food consumption,” but of course that’s the point of an apéritif, or at least to enhance and make the experience of the food and/or the food and the drink better.

But as they conclude, this “pre-loading” of alcohol is what makes us want to eat more, which they believe that their study shows. When I briefly looked at the entire article, their longer discussion of the findings, as is quite common, suggested caution in drawing too many conclusions and suggesting further study was warranted. As the shorter conclusion states, these “food cues” play “a role in the apéritif phenomenon,” which is not exactly the same as saying “drinking is responsible for American obesity.”

But that didn’t stop author Alap Naik Desai from making such speculation, fueling the prohibitionist response that of course “Liquor [is] Responsible For [the] Rising Obesity” in the United States.

A research conducted by Indiana University indicated that exposure to alcohol enhanced the brain’s sensitivity and heightened its response to food aromas. In simpler words, food seemed much more appealing and appetizing, which, of course, led to extra consumption. Connecting the dots, one could also summarize that alcohol consumption was responsible for increased intake of food and hence a hidden cause of obesity.

I’m not sure which dots he’s referring to, since that’s a fairly absurd statement that isn’t contained in the study itself. But beyond that, the study involved just 35 female test subjects, no men at all. And it seems hard to extrapolate anything meaningful that could be applicable to the human population from so few people. Also, they claim that people “responded enthusiastically to food aromas after the body had been exposed to alcohol,” but not from drinking it, simply from having smelled it. Despite the lack of causation, or a robust sample size or even anything resembling reality, the lead author of the study, William Eiler, apparently told Desai that “this poses a major risk to those trying to keep their weight down.” Seriously, “a major risk” because 35 women seemed more hungry after sniffing alcohol? Desai continues. “With America weighing down under an obesity epidemic and two out of every three American adults consuming alcohol, there is an immediate need to find more connecting factors between the brain, food, and alcohol, advise the scientists.”

Except that this idea is easily demolished by one simple fact. Even in countries where alcohol consumption per capita exceeds the United States, which according to the World health Organization is 36 countries, the obesity rates do not follow the same pattern, which you’d expect if alcohol “pose[d] a major risk to those trying to keep their weight down.” According to WHO, Belarus, Andorra, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Grenada, Austria, Ireland, France, Saint Lucia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, the Bahamas, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Spain, Latvia, Finland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Gabon, Romania, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Cyprus all consume more alcohol per capita than the U.S., based on data for fifteen years, from 1990-2010.

And as for the most obese countries, we’re number one according to several sources, including Business Insider, the Telegraph and NationMaster. Although there are some sources that claim in 2013, Mexico took the title from us, yet it, too, is conspicuously absent from the list of countries that drink more than we do, meaning they drink less but are more obese.

Of those 36 countries that the WHO data makes clear drink more per capita than we do, only half of them appear on the OECD list of the top obese nations, from their 2012 Obesity Update report. If alcohol was causing people to eat more, than it seems clear people who drink more should likewise be eating more, too, and we’d see a direct correlation between both sets of numbers.

The three sources other than the WHO list also include on their lists of the most obese nations; Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritania, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Tonga, Turkey, UAE, and Zimbabwe, of which only two — Nigeria and Spain — drink more than we do. Again, if any of this were true, it seems obvious that there would be an easily recognizable correlation between both alcohol consumption and the obesity rates, but there isn’t, strongly suggesting there isn’t one at all.

I suspect the researchers know this, but the journalist who took the study and twisted it to fit a narrative probably did not. He finishes with this conclusion. “With America weighing down under an obesity epidemic and two out of every three American adults consuming alcohol, there is an immediate need to find more connecting factors between the brain, food, and alcohol, advise the scientists.” But is that what they’re advising? Because the evidence doesn’t quite measure up to that scary headline. If this were true, wouldn’t doctors be prescribing alcohol for their patients who need to eat more. I’d also say his article seems irresponsible, since it promotes an idea that it doesn’t actually support, and misrepresents the facts to get more people clicking on the link. It’s so bad that only a prohibitionist would fall for it, because facts don’t matter in propaganda, only making alcohol look bad.