A new study shows

September 15, 2014
a new study goodA new study shows that anti-anxiety and sleeping drugs are linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The types of drugs that might increase risk are benzodiazepines — aka drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. The study looked at the medication history of a group of older people with Alzheimer’s and found that use of benzos in the study increased risk for the disease by as much as 51%. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about the relationship between Alzheimer’s and benzos. ~The Daily Skimm

Don’t you really love studies like these?  What are they really saying?

Here was my first thought when I read this:  I LOVE benzos.

Here was my second thought: My mother took benzos to excess her entire life and was sharp as a tack when she died at 74. My father never took them and started showing his Alzheimer’s in his early 70s.

Go figure.

And also, wouldn’t they also find that these older people in the study all drank milk as children? Does THAT link to an increased risk of dementia?

Take  just about anything. Big headlines say

New study shows that (fill-in-the-blank) is bad for you! 

The next year, we’ll see headlines that a new study shows that the very same substance promotes good health.

I simply can not take any of these studies seriously.

Take sugar.  Any imbecile has to realize that a whole boatload of sugar is bad for you, especially white sugar (she says as she looks longingly at those double chocolate brownies).  But a packet of raw sugar a day isn’t going to kill you.

Or booze.  Anyone who’s ever experienced a hangover knows for a fact that alcohol is poison.  Moderation is the key. Although, really, I am barely a drinker now, I have had a few world-class hangovers. I don’t need a study to tell me how to treat alcohol.

And wine. One glass a day for health or two? I mean, seriously. Drink a glass of wine a day if you like it or, if you’re like me, don’t drink one every day, drink when  you feel like it.  I really doubt you’re going to die young because you didn’t have your daily ration of the grape.

Carbs, protein or vegan?  A strictly vegan diet may help us live longer, but what kind of life is that?  We eat a nice filet once a week or two. Some days we eat vegetarian. Other days we eat lean pork or good chicken.  All things in moderation; I doubt any of it will kill us.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that we all have common sense and that it’s always the best guide to deciding what to do–on any topic.  So here’s my headline:

A new study shows that common sense is the best predictor of a happy, healthy life.

52 comments on “A new study shows
  1. Puneet Kumar says:

    I agree with you. Your article is very Informative and it is very true to say that common sense is very important in life.

  2. PatU says:

    Been loving your recent posts!

  3. These “new studies” drive me crazy. It seems there’s a new one each day and each one seems to refute the other. I’m with you, just eat and drink in moderation and with a variety.

  4. As soon as one study comes out, another is close behind that completely contradicts it. I saw this one and took interest, b/c my dad died with dementia and I take one of the drugs they mention due to Meniere’s disease. Without it, I would suffer from severe vertigo 24/7 and not be functional. Oh, and lose my hearing. So I’ll take the drug, TYVM. Study be damned!

    We could all use a big ol’ healthy dose of common sense!

  5. While I agree with you on this, Carol, the MS readers on the site I moderate love to see studies. So I have to carefully read and monitor what I post and comment on to answer their questions. Like separating wheat from chaff. We have so many shut-ins, unable to function outside their front door without a lot of help. So “studies” are something they long to read – pray to read – waiting to see “studies” about the progressive disease that is eating away at their lives. I wish these “studies” were always real and factual and honest. So much for my Utopia….

    • Monitoring studies about disease is something entirely different, but you’re right, even then it can be a challenge. And really, not many lay people can interpret what those studies really mean to any given individual patient. This post is more about those every-day things that we are always being told to do more–or less– of, sometimes at the same time.

  6. Nora says:

    I think you hit on a topic that is of common frustration to all of us. Sometimes it feels as if the media will do anything for an audience.

  7. Ines Roe says:

    “A new study shows that common sense is the best predictor of a happy, healthy life”
    I love that. I am going to have to remember that and share it. I work in health care and we are barraged with one study after the other. But as you point out – all we have to do is wait a while and a new study will show the opposite of what the previous study showed.

  8. Great post Carol! As a hard-shell Southerner- I can’t imagine completely giving up my fried chicken or my peach cobbler roots, but am happy to say I’ve scaled it back to once a month and I’m still kicking! Bon appetite y’all.

  9. You are so right! It’s amazing what people will believe. Numbers can be twisted around to prove almost any point, and it’s getting harder and harder to know what’s true.

  10. The ones that get me are the back-and-forth baloney on coffee. It’s bad, it’s good, it’s bad, it’s gonna kill you, it’ll make you smarter, wiser, richer. I ignore any and all on coffee now. I’ll drink it anyway. And likely die anyway. No, I’m 100% sure I’ll die… eventually.

    • I love coffee. I doubt it’ll kill me. But at some point? Yes, we’ll all die! It’s like they say “Bet those passengers on the Titanic who didn’t have dessert wish they had.”

  11. kim tackett says:

    I agree with you that the new studies help us justify everything. But I am digging the new studies that encourage me to take time off. Also, sleep. Looking for one now that tells me that watching reality tv competition shows (I am partial to Survivor, Project Runway, Amazing Race and Top Chef) will make me happier. Oh yeah, I don’t need a study to tell me that.

  12. I so love this!! I have always wanted to do a study about how much hard studies do to us!!! Thanks!!!

  13. To be fair, it’s not usually (almost never, in fact) the study scientists who say those things. It’s the media’s interpretation. And as someone said above, they’ll do — literally — ANYthing for a story. They’ll misrepresent what the data shows, directly lie, overstate, understate . . . and then when people complain, there is never a retraction or a follow-up, because that is SO five minutes ago.

    Drives me up the wall.

  14. I saw this same study the other day and thought it was rubbish! Mom has never taken any kind of medication in her life except maybe an aspirin here or there. Now she takes medicine to lower her blood pressure, ompeprazole for her stomach and Namenda for her dementia. So that blows that theory all to hell and back. I agree moderation is important no matter what you do.

  15. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Great post! It is so true that common sense makes the most sense!

  16. That Benzo study irritated me too. My grandmother and my mother both took/take them, as do I, and my grandmother died at 98 sharp as could be. My mother is 75 and still smart and completely fine. As for me…well, I guess time will tell.

  17. Haralee says:

    Thank-you! I always like to know the source of the study and who financed the study and more geeking number stuff like the amount of people or animals in the study how long the study took who were and how many principal doctors wrote the study, etc. If I am not satisfied with answers I look at it as headline teasers, slow news day nothing more.

  18. Nordette says:

    I find this unnerving and will have to research it more. My mother took Valium and she also developed Alzheimer’s.

  19. One of the things I loved first about my stat courses in college was learning the difference between cause and correlation and significance – when coincidental factors, if really tested, didn’t often rise to the level of a true if-then relationship. I felt like I’d been let in on a HUGE secret. The other thing I loved was having a professor who would open a new discussion about “significance” with: “Okay kids, here’s another fun thing you’ll share someday at a cocktail party.”

  20. Mary says:

    We all need to live life with everything in moderation, and pray that it will be a long healthy one.

  21. I only pay attention if it’s news I want to hear, like chocolate, red wine or coffee is good for you!

  22. It’s when they went after chocolate that I started disbelieving them. But now they pushing dark chocolate! 😉
    I think some of this is driven by manufactures of certain products, Carol.

  23. Donna says:

    Everything in moderation, right? I agree there is no settled science…what is good for you today is bad for you tomorrow. If there was a diet that worked aside from eating less and moving more it would have been invented. We have to accept the hard truth that we can do almost anything in moderation. But when we over do anything…..there is trouble.
    I have 25 pounds of overdo I would love to extract, I know how…..just not doing it

  24. Great post Carol. And yes, common sense is key!

  25. Ruth Curran says:

    I spend a ton of time reading studies and I agree with your position thoroughly and completely. Great example? Look at the rest of the “benzo” story…. Stress, anxiety, and panic attacks are frequently chemical imbalances that “benzo”s assist to put back in balance. Those conditions hurt functioning of every single system in your body and will make you miserable, destroy quality of life, and kill you – not just trigger other conditions (that may or may not be manifest anyway) but kill you. So, every story has a flip side and the danger of just reading one study is that you fall into a one-sided trap and get caught in half the story.

    I believe in both doing and reading studies but I also believe that no one study can change the course of world! Great insight Carol!

  26. Lana says:

    Statistics can always be manipulated to benefit the presenter. The media is a disaster, and many Americans have a tendency to jump on the latest band wagon. I love the last sentence in your blog post! Common sense is key.

  27. Great Carol! You’re exactly right! (But don’t hold your breath waiting for that news bulletin on TV shows or newspapers…its not frantic and it’s relaxing. No sale).

  28. bodynsoil says:

    Studies show that a fool is born every minute, and other titillating tid bits to sell copy and/or inventory..

    Great post.

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