Well, now. This is rare: "The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy." A few excerpts:
Not discussing the beneficial impact of alcohol on heart disease has been a systematic policy of the U.S. public health establishment, one example of which is the Framingham Study. The National Institutes of Health, which funded the Framingham research, forbad Harvard epidemiologist Carl Seltzer from publishing this finding, he later revealed. Why? NIH’s reasoning, published in a 1972 memo, still pervades American thinking:The whole article is worth the time you'll spend to read it. There's one important caveat, however: not everyone should drink. My mother was an alcoholic and it killed her, quite literally. I've seen the damage alcohol can do to a person's life and to the alcoholic's loved ones and it's not pretty, believe me. If I had to give thanks for one single thing in my life it would be that the alcoholism trait went missing in my genetic make-up (and that of my children, too). Otherwise? I believe I'm the beneficiary of alcohol's prophylactic effects. My doctor agrees with me, sayin' my "numbers" are so good I'd prolly live to be 100. If I could only breathe.
The encouragement of undertaking drinking with the implication of prevention of coronary heart disease would be scientifically misleading and socially undesirable in view of the major health problem of alcoholism that already exists in the country.Flash forward to 2011, when the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were finally released by the Department of Agriculture and HHS. One reason for their delayed publication was the uproar raised by public health organizations to the Guidelines’ alcohol committee’s report of “strong evidence” that moderate drinking prevents heart disease, and the “moderate evidence” that it prevents dementia. Such battles are old hat: Similar campaigns against mentioning alcohol’s health benefits are mounted every five years when the Guidelines threaten to include them, starting with South Carolina senator and teetotaler Strom Thurmond’s strenuous objections to the 1995 edition.
Epidemiological study after study (that is, research tracing drinkers, their consumption, and their life outcomes) produces consistent findings—there are now hundreds of such studies. But whenever any sort of research can be teased out to suggest drinking is bad for you, it will be put on full display to confuse the picture.