Alcoholism At Large
April 2020 | Home Group

Alcoholism At Large

Health drink warning

Before you try that tasty-looking probiotic drink from your local health-food store, take a close look at the fine print. Many brands of kombucha, a fizzy drink made from fermented tea, contain anywhere from 0.5 to 2 percent alcohol, even though it is marketed as a non-alcoholic health drink. 

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the dividing line between non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages at 0.5 percent, all kombucha contains at least a small amount of alcohol and some have significantly more. The FDA has been warning people about this since 2010. 

“Our research team is working closely with the Center for Disease Control to accurately determine ethanol levels,” said Paula Brown, research director at British Columbia Institute of Technology. “It is our goal to establish a set of best practices for production, such as proper storage.” Proper storage can be a problem. When kombucha isn’t kept properly refrigerated, alcohol content can rise in the bottle. 

Source: British Columbia Institute of Technology, November, 2019

Youth binge drinking down, depression up 

Binge drinking among U.S. adolescents showed a huge decline from 1991 to 2018. That’s good news, but researchers have also found that depressive symptoms among the same group have sharply increased since 2012. And for the first time in the past 40 years, rates of binge drinking and depressive symptoms are diverging.

The association between “depression and drinking is among the bedrocks of psychiatric epidemiology findings—until now,” said Katherine M. Keyes, professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in New York. “Our results suggest that we need to be re-thinking the connections between mental health and alcohol among young people.” The results show that the relationship between binge drinking and depressive symptoms is dynamically changing and decoupling in ways never seen before.

Source: Journal of Adolescent Health, November, 2019

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