Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

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pguyer807
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Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by pguyer807 »

I am new to this site but not to research on this! Anyone tell me about alcohol use?
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Julie G
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by Julie G »

Welcome pguyer807! Please feel free to share your research with us :D

It's hard to tell from your question if you're looking for papers that reference this? Or, how other members are handling the decision? Our Wiki is in dire need of updating, but here is a link to a relevant section:
https://wiki.apoe4.info/wiki/Alcohol_consumption

Here is a link to some additional references as well as various members' perspectives:
Determining the right level of alcohol consumption:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=99&hilit=Alcohol

Bottom line: from what we've learned so far...it's probably NOT a great idea for our population. I'm a 4/4 and am embarrassed to admit that I still drink a few ounces of dry red wine occasionally. Two to three ounces has the same effect for me that two glasses used to :oops:
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by Gilgamesh »

Welcome, pguyer!

You raise an important question. Julie's right about the wiki needing updating, but the section on alcohol consumption is actually quite up to date. I can add that, from personal communication with researchers, the notion that any ethanol is likely bad for us should probably be "is very likely" bad for us. Reviews all call for more research, but the researchers themselves are pretty convinced that, all else being equal, any amount of alcohol is just a toxin for us. "Above all, if you feel any 'buzz' at all, you're doing damage."

The question is, will all else be equal if one stops drinking? I've found myself more socially isolated as a teetotaler, so I'm considering abandoning teetotalism, just so that my self-definition changes, as it were, saying yes to a glass of wine at parties and social dinners, but only consuming part of the glass. Weirdly, I find that feeling like I can't drink makes me not want to go out as much. (Actually, it's not that weird: one informal study in the UK noted that phenomenon.)

How old are you (approx.)? Researchers also say (personal communication) that younger ε4-carriers can more likely get away with a glass or even two on a regular basis.

GB
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

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I'm a 3/4 and do not drink. I used to, just a glass or two of wine or beer socially, but gave it all up and felt infinitely better.

Not drinking can effect your social life, at least if your friends are part of the FAC crowd. My initial workaround was to mostly meet friends for coffee or lunch or some activity like hiking/biking where there is no expectation to drink. I did lose a couple friends over time, but today my remaining friends understand my focus on health given my parent's health problems (my dad had AD, both had autoimmune diseases).

And when you do go out at night and aren't drinking, you'd be surprised how popular you become as the designated driver. :lol:
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by GenePoole0304 »

I only drink on the occasion and when I can get something that is specially good and then limit as below. If it has sulfates I can get a reaction to red wine but I had some 14% blackcurrant wine that was superb. Drink slowly and eat a good meal.

http://www.wikihow.com/Limit-Your-Alcoh ... gs-Per-Day

I have a decaf after. there are other harm reduction techniques which I cannot find
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... finds.html

cheers!
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by Stavia »

[quote="GenePoole0304"]I only drink on the occasion and when I can get something that is specially good and then limit as below. If it has sulfates I can get a reaction to red wine [quote]

you mean sulphites/sulphites right? I am anaphylactic to sulphites/sulphites (different spellings in different countries)
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by TheBrain »

I've tried four times over the past month to consume alcohol and not get a hangover the next day. Well, I got a hangover after each attempt. The first three involved decreasing amounts of red wine (12 oz. to 10 oz. to 8 oz.). The degree of hangover decreased along with the "dose," but I was not able to do much the next day each time. When hungover, I can't read except for just a little bit. Otherwise, I feel worse.

Yes, maybe I need to go with even a lower dose, like 4 oz. But then why bother? Though I do like G's idea of carrying around a glass of wine at social events, but it would be a challenge for me to just take a few sips and not finish the glass.

I thought maybe I was reacting to the yeast in the red wine, so my last attempt was with vodka (1 shot with water, lemon juice, and stevia). I still had a hangover the next day.

Hangovers just aren't worth it. A hangover probably means I have damaged my brain.

For years, I was able to enjoy red wine without any difficulties. But over the past, gosh, I'd guess 5-6 years, alcohol has been agreeing with me less and less. I have pretty much become a teetotaler, except for these recent experiments.
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by pguyer807 »

I am 59 and have been a heavy drinker of mostly red wine for the last 20
Years! I also am very athletic and I have exercised very heavily since 25.
My cholesterol is low (170) HDL usually 70.

I am a 3/4 and like all of you I am terrified of cognitive decline and as a result I have stopped drinking. I feel my mental functioning is much better without alcohol.
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by pguyer807 »

Gilgamesh wrote:Welcome, pguyer!

You raise an important question. Julie's right about the wiki needing updating, but the section on alcohol consumption is actually quite up to date. I can add that, from personal communication with researchers, the notion that any ethanol is likely bad for us should probably be "is very likely" bad for us. Reviews all call for more research, but the researchers themselves are pretty convinced that, all else being equal, any amount of alcohol is just a toxin for us. "Above all, if you feel any 'buzz' at all, you're doing damage."

The question is, will all else be equal if one stops drinking? I've found myself more socially isolated as a teetotaler, so I'm considering abandoning teetotalism, just so that my self-definition changes, as it were, saying yes to a glass of wine at parties and social dinners, but only consuming part of the glass. Weirdly, I find that feeling like I can't drink makes me not want to go out as much. (Actually, it's not that weird: one informal study in the UK noted that phenomenon.)

How old are you (approx.)? Researchers also say (personal communication) that younger ε4-carriers can more likely get away with a glass or even two on a regular basis.

I am 59 have been a heavy wine drinker until about a year ago. I have low cholesterol and have always exercised and eat fairly well.
So glad for this forum!

GB
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Re: Alcohol use for APOE3/4?

Post by Nords »

pguyer807 wrote:I am new to this site but not to research on this! Anyone tell me about alcohol use?
Why set yourself up?

Here's a cautionary tale.

My 81-year-old father is a typical product of 1950s culture, including "social drinking". He usually had a drink before dinner every day, and maybe another drink after dessert. If he was at a party, he'd have a few drinks. If he was working late at the office or traveling on a family vacation or on a diet then he'd skip alcohol for days or weeks. Alcohol was a life habit but he didn't need it.

Dad has been in a full-care facility with Alzheimer's for over four years. He first noted symptoms of cognitive decline in mid-2008. I saw clear symptoms during a visit in late 2009, but our patriarch refused all offers of help and insisted on living independently. I decided to wait Dad out and put a geriatric care manager on retainer.

He lived in a 2BR apartment, but he only had one bed. On my 2009 visit I offered to get an air mattress or sleep on the couch, but he insisted that I use his bed. He said "I've slept here in the recliner before, it's no problem." I'd started enough arguments that day, so I humored Dad on the sleeping arrangements. I'll get back to this point in a few paragraphs.

Late one night in March 2011, Dad was driven to his small-town hospital emergency room in severe pain. The initial symptoms looked like a heart attack but the exams said no. Dad was incoherent during the diagnosis and lost consciousness. The frustrated trauma doc eventually did a full CAT scan and finally spotted a perforated ulcer. When they operated, the surgeon said that Dad's peritoneal cavity was "awash in at least a pint of alcohol" from a 1/4" hole in his duodenum. His stomach had no food contents, either. The surgeon has a great reputation but he admitted that he'd run out of ideas and felt that he only had 30 minutes left to operate.

Dad was alive but in bad shape: Alzheimer's, the mother of all hangovers, surgical trauma, pain, and lots of Demerol. He looked like an underweight bag of bones with no muscle tone. As the lab tests came back they noted malnutrition and also realized that he had not been taking his blood-pressure medication.

I lived at the hospital while the geriatric care manager and I worked on Dad's discharge to a skilled nursing facility, but I dropped by his apartment. He's a widowed, introverted engineer who used to have a kitchen full of food organized by meal and date. This time he only had an empty freezer, some sandwich ingredients, and no breakfast or dinner items. I worked on his credit-card receipts. It took me a while to understand the patterns, but I eventually realized that Dad was stopping by the Liquor Barn every week or two to buy a gallon of whiskey and a gallon of bourbon. The kitchen cabinet only had the dregs of each, and Dad certainly wasn't buying them for parties or gifts. The Liquor Barn receipts stretched back over 18 months. Dad hadn't gone to the grocery store in a month (or had paid cash), although he'd been to restaurants.

I did the math. Dad had been drinking at least a pint of liquor per day, every day all year long, for at least 18 months. That was at home, too, and didn't include the restaurants.

He didn't remember the emergency room, but I asked him about his daily routine. It became clear that he'd start his before-dinner drink in his recliner with TV. Then, since he has Alzheimer's, he'd have his before-dinner drink in his recliner with TV. After that he'd have his before-dinner drink in his recliner with TV. Eventually he'd fall asleep (or pass out) in the recliner with no dinner, sleep through breakfast, and wake up for lunch.

How many months can you drink a pint of alcohol a day on an empty stomach before you get a perforated ulcer? When you have Alzheimer's, how can you tell?

I was a "social drinker" too, but I stopped drinking alcohol that week. For the next few months I'd get the urge when I was around social situations or spicy foods or beer commercials, but then I'd remember Dad's credit-card receipts and his recliner. Today I don't miss alcohol one bit.

Over the next year, without any other lifestyle changes, I lost 10 pounds. (It's stayed off, too.) At 3500 kcal/pound, I was burning roughly 100 more calories per day than I was consuming. That's a lifestyle choice, but I'd rather choose dark chocolate instead of drinking alcohol or exercising an extra 100 calories/day.
Gilgamesh wrote:The question is, will all else be equal if one stops drinking? I've found myself more socially isolated as a teetotaler, so I'm considering abandoning teetotalism, just so that my self-definition changes, as it were, saying yes to a glass of wine at parties and social dinners, but only consuming part of the glass. Weirdly, I find that feeling like I can't drink makes me not want to go out as much. (Actually, it's not that weird: one informal study in the UK noted that phenomenon.)
If you're being socially isolated then you might want to develop a new social circle.

I sneaked my first beer at age 13 and I was an enthusiastic supporter of 1970s-80s Navy culture. But today when I laugh and shake my head and say "Thanks, my drinking days are behind me", my drinking friends laugh too and offer me something without alcohol. I haven't told them my father's story, but every friend can understand why their friend has stopped drinking. If they don't understand then they're not your friend.
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