Drink to Your Health

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Harmful drinking can cause serious health, personal and social problems. Alcohol is one of the main preventable risk factors for a number of diseases, such as cancer, mental health conditions and long-term conditions.

Russian Drinking Toasts

To reduce the risk to your health, as well as harm to others, you should limit how much alcohol you drink. For women this is no more than two standard drinks per day and no more than 10 per week, and have at least two alcohol-free days per week. For men this is no more than three standard drinks per day and no more than 15 per week and at least two alcohol-free days per week. For more information, see Low-risk alcohol drinking advice on the HPA website.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect your baby and put them at risk of life-long problems, known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It can also increase your risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. You also risk fines or license suspension if you are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. If you plan to drive, it is better not to drink alcohol at all. If you do drink alcohol, arrange alternate transport, such as a taxi or a sober driver.

The standard drinks measure is a simple way for you to work out how much alcohol you are drinking. It measures the amount of pure alcohol in a drink. One standard drink equals 10 grams of pure alcohol. Have a look at the Guide to Standard Drinks. It shows you how many standard drinks there are in some other common types of alcohol.

Wine as medicine

The Ministry of Health recommends that children and young people under 18 years do not drink any alcohol. Tietze questionably claims that kombucha made its first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on the strength of those Soviet health studies, when Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with cancer in Reagan in fact had a polyp and two feet of his lower intestine surgically removed. A mycologist in Olympia, Washington, once told the New York Times that a pharmaceutical company asked him to research kombucha in The concerns seemed to be validated a few months later, when a woman named Lila Mae Williamson died one month shy of her 60th birthday in the conservative farming community of Spencer, Iowa.

Williamson had been taking medications for seizures, diabetes, hypertension, and other ills when her son told her that a tax client had informed him that kombucha would cure all of her aches and pains, and boost her energy.

Benefits of Drinking Water: How Much to Drink and Why You Should

She started drinking 4 ounces a day and reported that her mood was improving and some of the aches were subsiding. On April 1, Williamson passed out near her bathtub. A neighbor found her and called ; two days later, she died. When FDA investigators asked Vonada if her mother had recently changed anything in her diet, one thing came to mind: kombucha. One week later, a year-old woman, also from Spencer, entered the ER. She went into cardiac arrest, but was revived and went home two days later. She too had recently started drinking kombucha. In another, more recent era, perhaps news of a pair of incidents in Iowa and a strongly worded warning from the health department would have spread, and smothered the American kombucha trend just as it was beginning to go mainstream.

Robert Deering, after many more nights at the Portland State library studying kombucha, had launched Oocha Brew, the first bottled kombucha brand in the U. It worked: A growing grocery chain called Whole Foods became interested in distributing it. On the night of November 16, , Steve Lee was a dinner guest at the home that his Russian business partner, Peter Lisovski, shared with his mother in St.

They lived in a nine-story Soviet-era building, where the hallways reeked of urine.

drink to (someone or something's) health

As they finished dinner, Lee excused himself to use the bathroom. On the short walk through the starkly furnished apartment, he passed Mrs. There, he spotted a single bed, the corners of a drab wool blanket tucked neatly under the mattress. On the metal nightstand he saw a gallon-sized glass jug filled with dark liquid, the opening at the top covered with cheesecloth.

A thick, whitish blob floated near the surface. When he returned to the table, Lee asked his host about the contents of the jug. To her, mushroom tea, or kombucha, was simply part of everyday life. Lisovski carried the culture as she moved her family from Siberia to Petrograd which is now St.

She offered Lee a piece to take back to Portland. Strange, unique old world taste allowing for a clear light headed feeling. He was in Russia to develop a Russian tea label. Before settling in, Lee asked the stewardess to place the package in the mini fridge. He made a few batches at home but eventually let the SCOBY die, and thought that was the end of his ventures in kombucha.

Need a pickup? He looked around for other brands, road-tripping along the West Coast to speak with the owners of natural food stores to see if they knew about kombucha and if they would sell it. He planned to offer to invest. No one called back. Lee tried again in , and this time heard back from Deering, who reported that Oocha Brew had folded.

Oocha Brew was too small to take on the expensive process of pasteurization, and it eventually sank the entire company. A few months later, Deering joined Lee and a few other partners to launch Kombucha Wonder Drink, which they decided to pasteurize. Kombucha brewers struggled to gain fans outside of the health market. What are you doing, Steve? Lee and Deering stuck with it, though, and their product led the market for a few years. By , a bunch of regional brands were available, all selling unpasteurized kombucha.

Tests revealed that Ciara had biliary atresias, a rare liver disease in which the ducts that pass bile from the liver to the gallbladder and the first section of the small intestine become blocked. Bile serves two functions in the body, helping to digest fat and carry waste out of the liver.

When trapped, the excess bile damages liver cells, eventually leading to liver failure. Doctors told Patras that the only hope for Ciara was a complex surgery known as the Kasai procedure, in which the gallbladder and bile ducts are removed and the liver is connected directly to the small intestine. She walked out of the room, away from other shell-shocked parents, to the pay phone at the end of the hall, where she called her husband. She told him that she was bringing the baby home that weekend, and that he needed to open a package that was waiting on the kitchen counter.

While pregnant with Ciara, Patras had heard a guest on the daytime talk show Leeza discussing a drink that could boost the immune system. Patras had already lost her mother, uncle, several aunts, and both grandmothers to cancer, so strengthening her immune system seemed appealing. She ordered a kit to make the beverage, a fermented tea called kombucha. One week after Ciara underwent the Kasai procedure, Patras continued the kombucha regimen.


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Patras knew this could be the result of a successful Kasai procedure, but suspected that, somehow, the kombucha was involved. When she did, the doctor ordered her to stop giving it to Ciara immediately.

Americans are choosing to believe in their intuition, to choose whole foods and natural products instead of processed foods and pills. People are believing what they want to believe, and ignoring the rest. Seeded by dubious prophets with tidings of good health, and stoked by thrifty entrepreneurs, the kombucha phenomenon took root in America at a perfect moment — just as some people began to lose trust in modern medicine and wanted to believe in something more. A few months before Ruth Patras heard kombucha touted on a daytime talk show, a group of housemates in Portland, Oregon, tried it for the first time after a friend left some behind.

One of them, Robert Deering, was especially intrigued. Curiosity led him to the library at nearby Portland State, where he found a s book on fermentation with a short section on kombucha.

lijuhunorho.cf It explained that kombucha starts with a SCOBY — a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast — which forms in the organic compound cellulose. The entire process takes about two weeks.

Simple Drinking Toasts

First, the sugar and hot tea are combined. Once the sweetened tea has cooled, an acidifier — often matured kombucha — can be added to prevent unfriendly bacteria. As the SCOBY lowers the pH of the sweetened tea, its rising acidity kills off pathogenic bacteria, and acid-tolerant microbes consume the oxygen in it, beginning fermentation. When the oxygen is gone, the yeast starts breaking down the sugar, converting it to alcohol; the bacteria in the SCOBY then breaks that down to form various acids, resulting in the final product: kombucha.

It smells like diluted vinegar and malty yeast, and when poured into a glass, it bubbles like champagne. Once bottled, the bubbles remain, making it more interesting than water, less sweet than juice, and less potent than soda. Deering learned that no two SCOBYs are exactly the same, and no two batches of kombucha are exactly alike, in part because each batch picks up different yeast microbes from the air.

Room temperature and the water also affect the flavor, the speed of fermentation, and the development of gases. Alcohol continues forming as long as there is yeast and sugar in the mixture, so the final alcohol content depends on when the SCOBY is removed, or when the kombucha is pasteurized.


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If kept unpasteurized, or raw, fermentation continues, and so does alcohol production. When treated properly, each SCOBY can be used to start a new batch — or two, because every few days SCOBYs sprout a thin layer of cellulose that easily peels off the bottom and can be used on its own. Science has yet to offer a better explanation of how kombucha develops than what Deering found in that year-old book, and no one has definitively determined where the first SCOBY came from — only that kombucha has almost always been synonymous with miraculous health claims.

Whatever its ancient origins, German scientists were referencing it in their work by the s. In one tale, people live to over in the 8,person village of Kargasok on the Ob River because they drink kombucha. There, legend has it that kombucha allowed an year-old woman to give birth to her first child, fathered by a year-old man. Russian and German doctors mentioned kombucha in more than publications between and These claims traveled predominantly by word-of-mouth, including informational leaflets, until , when Tietze, a German-born kombucha drinker, perpetuated its mythos in a dubiously sourced book called Kombucha: The Miracle Fungus , which claimed to summarize the various medical benefits that European doctors, as well as people who wrote him letters, ascribed to kombucha — and which devoted kombucha drinkers once pointed to as evidence of its medical efficacy.

Tietze describes, for instance, a study by Reinhold Weisner, a possibly made-up physician and biologist working in Bremen, Germany, who conducted a trial with patients to compare kombucha treatment with Interferon, a common immune-boosting drug used in the treatment of various illnesses. According to Tietze, Weisner found kombucha more effective in treating asthma, 92 percent as effective in treating rheumatism, and 89 percent as effective on kidney disorders.

Tietze questionably claims that kombucha made its first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on the strength of those Soviet health studies, when Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with cancer in Reagan in fact had a polyp and two feet of his lower intestine surgically removed.