Does Alcohol Damage Your DNA?

Forget the days when red wine was supposed to be healthy. The latest research suggests too many drinks can affect your genes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. No one likes to feel tricked, especially about their health. That’s why every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness with quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Can you pass the 10-second test?

  • The grumpy diet

  • The DNA damager

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Stat Of The Week: 10 Seconds

Did you know that approximately 20 percent of people over 50 can’t stand on one foot for more than 10 seconds without using any support?

This might not seem like a big deal, but according to the research, those who can’t pass the 10-second test also have a higher likelihood of premature death over the next decade. While association studies must be taken with a grain of salt, this connection is more than speculation. Multiple studies link strength, muscle, and mobility to longer healthspan and lifespan. 

And it’s not just about building muscle but preventing accidents. About 36 million falls are reported every year among older adults, and those falls are linked to more than 32,000 deaths. 

The Grumpy Diet

You might think you dislike low-carb diets because they cut out favorites like pasta and dessert, but something might be happening on a deeper level.

Research suggests that diets that remove carbs create biological changes that can put you in a bad mood.

Scientists compared people on low-carb diets to low-fat diets, and they found that people who kept more carbs were happier and showed signs of being less hungry. That might be because carbs help increase the production of serotonin, a chemical that boosts mood and helps suppress your appetite. Cutting carbs completely can disrupt mood regulation and make it harder to prevent overeating. 

It’s why some research shows eating a high-protein, high-carb breakfast was more effective than a high-fat, high-protein diet at reducing appetite and increasing fullness. In the study, those who kept eating carbs continued to lose body fat, while the carb-restricted group regained the weight. 

That’s not to say low-carb diets can’t or don’t work — they can! Personal preference plays a big role because whatever diet you maintain the longest will deliver the best results, whether keeping or cutting carbs. 

The problem is understanding where you’re likely to fall apart. If you cut carbs, you might end up craving them more, feeling a lower mood, and eventually straying from the plan. Or, if you eat the wrong type of carbs and too much of them — such as ultra-processed carbs with added sugar, fat, and salt — then you’ll have trouble controlling hunger, eating too much, and then gaining weight.

If you want to keep carbs in your diet, focus on eating less processed options such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oats, and legumes (like beans and lentils). Need more help figuring out how to balance your diet and still enjoy some of the foods you love? Check out the official Pump Club Nutrition Guide

The DNA Damager

This item is one that your bartender won’t love. 

Recent research suggests that alcohol damages your DNA and is strongly connected with other health issues. 

We don’t believe in black-and-white statements. So, it’s important to know that a few drinks here and there aren’t a reason to panic. But, if you drink frequently — or drink to excess — the research is getting harder to ignore that you’re doing damage to your body. 

Studies have found that even lower amounts of drinking are linked to an increased risk of higher blood pressure and heart disease, as well as brain shrinkage and liver disease. 

But here’s the good news: research suggests cutting back on your alcohol intake can reverse the damage, help lower your blood pressure, and improve overall health.  

It’s hard to put a number on how many drinks your body can handle each week, but recent research suggests that those who drink two or fewer drinks per week are likely out of harm’s way, while others suggest the maximum number of drinks without too much risk is closer to six drinks per week and not more than four in any single day. No matter what, be responsible and respect your body.

And that’s it for this week. Thank you for being a part of the positive corner of the internet, and we hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell