Indispensable advice from a sake-loving doctor on how alcohol can be good for you.
Published originally in Japanese as The Best Way to Drink: Taught by a Sake-loving Doctor, where it has sold over 95,000 copies, this is an indispensable guide to avoiding or mitigating the damaging effects of drink. Sake journalist Kaori Haishi, with help from liver specialist Dr Shinichi Asabe, has interviewed twenty-five doctors on how to drink without harming your health.
Based on a survey of 140,000 people, Haishi covers topics such as how the bitter taste of beer may help to prevent dementia, how having a regular nightcap may increase the risk of depression and how the best remedy for a hangover is apparently natto (Japanese fermented soybeans). Haishi addresses questions such as: Does alcohol shrink the brain? Is drinking on a plane dangerous? And, why does someone repeat the same story over and over again when drunk?
On a more positive note, she looks at why red wine is good for health and investigates whether sake may be a drinkable skin lotion. She provides healthy guidelines for women on drinking during menstruation, pregnancy and the menopause.
Haishi reveals the scientific connections between alcohol and various diseases, including fatty liver and breast cancer, and discusses the impact of too much alcohol on testosterone levels. She shows how too much turmeric can damage the liver, explains why medicine should never be taken with alcohol and how taking a bath after drinking in winter can prove fatal.
This is a book for anyone not looking to stop drinking altogether, but to drink more moderately, or sensibly, without suffering ill effects. Adrian Chiles, who describes himself as a ‘moderating drinker’, has explored this topic in his film Drinkers Like Me.